ORANGE - The man who fatally shot his wife at their Orange home Monday evening expressed remorse today calling the incident a "freak accident."
"I pretty much took my kid’s mother from them and I have to live with that for the rest of my life," said Robert Hand.
52 year-old Robert Hand describes 24 year-old Megan Smith as his common law wife. He said the gun was a gift to Smith for her to protect herself while he was gone at work.
He said he never expected the weapon to take away the person he cared about the most.
"I wish it was me instead of her, I would give up my life so she could stay with my babies," said Hand.
The couple has been together for 7 years. They have two kids together, 3 year-old Rylan and 2 year-old Skyla who have no idea what happened.
"They ask me every day where she's at, I don't know what to tell them," said Hand. "They are so young."
Hand said he did not pull the trigger on the gun. He explains he picked up the handgun to make sure it was not loaded before they left their home. He said the gun suddenly discharged and a bullet hit his wife in the back.
"She was sitting on the bed and she just fell back and I stayed with her,” said Hand. “I held on to her and tried to keep her alert, I didn’t know what else to do" said Hand.
City of Orange Police officers responded to a home at the 500 block of Main Street at about 5:48 p.m. according to the release.
Police do not believe the shooting was the result of a domestic disturbance or done out of anger but may have been accidental and done without intent to harm according to Captain Robert Enmon of the Orange Police Department.
Captain Enmon said Smith was shot with a small caliber handgun. He said police have spoken to several witnesses who were also inside the home at the time.
Guns are not toys and one should always treat a gun as if it were loaded Captain Enmon told 12News saying "never pull a trigger on something you do not want to destroy."
The couple's two and three year-old children were home at the time of the shooting but Hand said they were in a different room.
Hand said this is a mistake he will never forget.
"It was a horrible accident that took the most beautiful person I ever met in my life," said Hand.
Police have not made any arrests at this time and child protective services is involved.
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