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Gun Goes Off In Court, Killing Female Lawyer

Addelaid Ferreira-Watt was shot in the hip
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2019 5:20 PM CST
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A courtroom.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Addelaid Ferreira-Watt was doing her job when a shotgun accidentally went off and killed her—leaving friends and family in a state of shock, People reports. The South African lawyer was shot in the hip Monday when the weapon, entered in court as evidence, fell to the floor and discharged. Ferreira-Watt was taken to hospital and later died there. Now police are treating the case as culpable homicide as they investigate why the weapon was allowed into Ixopo regional court fully loaded. "Unfortunately we cannot divulge further information as the investigations are at a sensitive stage," a police spokesman tells the Times.

But a friend of the 51-year-old barrister tells the Mirror "there is absolutely no need" for a loaded weapon in court, adding that the shotgun and ammunition "should have been submitted in separate evidence bags so someone is in big trouble." Which sounds like cold comfort for friends and family of the lawyer, who seem to be in shock. "A loving and caring mother, a loyal and dear friend, an incredibly smart, intelligent, dynamic resilient and beautiful woman," her sister-in-law writes on Facebook. "You filled my life with love and humor. We are so shocked you have been taken away in such a terrible way from your loved ones." (Read more accidental death stories.)

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