ETNA, Maine — The pregnant woman who was apparently accidentally shot in the back late Monday at her home is not going to have the bullet removed because it could endanger the life of her unborn child, her uncle, Etna Fire Chief Walter Gibbons, said Wednesday.
Crystal Gibbons, 25, was shot in the lower back around 11:20 p.m. Monday when a 25-year-old male stopped by her trailer with a .25-caliber handgun to see whether she or her boyfriend wanted to buy it, said Walter Gibbons, who lives next door on Dalmatian Way.
At some point, the man accidentally shot himself in the hand and the bullet hit Crystal Gibbons, her uncle said. She is two months’ pregnant.
“The doctor said if it didn’t go through the hand it probably would have killed her,” he said. “They couldn’t take it out because she was pregnant. They didn’t want to cause any damage.”
Chief Gibbons, who is also an emergency medical technician, said his pager alerted him to the situation 500 feet down the dirt road, and he treated both the shooter and his niece. Initial reports that more than one weapon was involved were not true, he said.
“There was one gun, and we don’t know if it’s stolen,” Walter Gibbons said.
Penobscot County sheriff’s deputies and state troopers responded to the weapons discharge call from Dalmatian Way, and two investigators are now assigned to the case, said Chief Deputy Troy Morton.
“This is a little bit of a complex case,” Morton said. “We’re continuing to interview people and collect evidence.”
Morton stressed that the shooting was not a random act and that “there is no loose gunman out there shooting people.”
As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed.
Both shooting victims were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and were released early Tuesday, Morton said.
There are three homes on Dalmatian Way, which is off Route 2, less than a mile west of Route 143.
The fire chief said his niece thought she was pregnant and hospital staff verified that on Tuesday.
The bullet entered Crystal Gibbons’ back and entered between her kidney and spine, he said.
“It was pretty close to taking out the femoral artery,” Walter Gibbons said. “Thank God it wasn’t a 9 mm or something bigger. That would have been bad.”
Even though the bullet remains, “She’s doing pretty good,” he said. “So far, so good with the baby.”