The boyfriend, 21, told officers he was getting ready to clean his semi-automatic pistol when it went off about 10 p.m., hitting his 22-year-old girlfriend.
The woman was transported to Tacoma General Hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.
The shooting took place in the 1700 block of West Stewart Avenue. Officers responded after the victim’s grandmother called 911, according to a press release from the Puyallup Police Department.
“He was very distratught,” said Puyallup Police Capt. Ryan Portmann. “There was obviously no intent.”
The man is cooperating with investigators, Portmann said. Puyallup police are investigating and determining whether charges should be forwarded to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.
Portmann said the shooting could have been avoided if the man had followed the universal rules of firearms safety, which include assuming all guns are loaded at all times and not pointing your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
“Had he followed those, he would not be in that situation,” Portmann said.