Pastor's Daughter, Shot Accidentally at St. Pete Church, Dies

Hannah Kelley suffered a wound to the head on Feb. 12, when a church member's gun discharged.

A 20-year-old gunshot victim died today, nearly a week after she was accidentially shot in the head at Grace Connection Church in St. Petersburg, where her father served as pastor.

Hannah Kelley died at about 10:30 a.m., at Bayfront Medical Center, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. 

Three men were inspecting a gun last Sunday inside a church closet when the it discharged. The bullet went through the closet wall and hit Kelley in the head, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The pastor of the church, Tim Kelley, is Hannah's father.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, several members of the congregation were gathered in the Church's rec room after church service, at around 12:30 p.m. Dustin Bueller, 20, approached 48-year-old Moises Zambrana and said that he would soon be turning 21 and was interested in purchasing a gun for himself.

Zambrana agreed to show Bueller his firearm, a Reuger 9mm.

Zambrana, Bueller and 19-year-old John Penu stepped into a small closet, adjacent to the rec room, where Zambrana proceeded to show the men the weapon, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said Zambrana was explaining the weapon's safety features and had removed the magazine, when the gun fired. The bullet went through the closet wall, striking Kelley in the head.

Deputies say Zambrana has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

No charges have been filed.

Detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide Unit are still investigating the incident, which is now classified as a death investigation.

The church is located at 4017 56th Ave. North in St. Petersburg.

sixgun February 18, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Tough hearing that, been following the story since last weekend. Prayers to all
Kenneth Jenkins February 18, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Why do you bring a gun to church? Could they not do that somewhere else.
Judy Landon February 19, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Zambrana had to pull the trigger for the gun to discharge. When I was learning to handle weapons, I was told that you always assume that a bullet could be in the chamber, and never to pull the trigger unless aiming at a target. He should be charged with manslaughter, because he does not understand gun safety, or chose to ignore it. What a tragedy. How many other people are out there carrying guns without knowing how to use them safely? No one should be allowed to lawfully pack a gun unless they have passed a course in gun safety, and if they choose to ignore what they have learned, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law should they inflict harm.
chelsa baldwin February 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I first aplaud the grace and behavior of the pastor and his family. What I don't get is a person who has a permit, doesn't know how to handle a gun and who does a gun deal in a church. Church is supposed to be for worship not having fairs, selling pumpkins, or Christmas trees. My prayers go to the pastor and his family
oldman71 February 19, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I own a similar Ruger pistol and mine has a "loaded chamber Indicator" which warns that there is a chambered round even if the clip is out. This is often an optional feature on quality pistols and one which might have helped avoid this tragic accident. If one must have a gun it should be as foolproof as possible and handled with great care.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »