SAGINAW, MI — A Saginaw County man and US Army soldier is charged with shooting his pregnant girlfriend, albeit accidentally.
The shooting also saw the man suffer a gunshot wound of his own, making it the second time he has accidentally shot himself.
Just before 8 pm on May 24, police responded to a residence at 103 E. Stark Road in Thomas Township for a shooting. Officers found 30-year-old Cameron H. Zuzula and his 25-year-old wife had both been wounded.
Zuzula’s wound was to his hand, while his pregnant wife’s injury was to her abdomen, police said.
The wife and her fetus survived the ordeal.
On completing their investigation, police sent their report to the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Authorities issued a warrant for Zuzula on June 7.
Zuzula on Tuesday, June 14, appeared before Saginaw County District Judge Elian EH Fichtner for arraignment on one count of careless discharge of a firearm causing injury or death. The charge is a high court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years’ incarceration and a $2,000 fine.
Speaking with MLive, Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Blair N. Stevenson said Zuzula did not intend to shoot himself or his wife. He mistakenly thought the pistol he held was unloaded when he pulled the trigger, Stevenson said.
Only one shot was fired, which struck both Zuzula and his wife.
Zuzula is represented by attorney Russell J. Perry Jr., who declined comment on the case but said in court Tuesday that his client is an active member of the US Army.
This is the second time in a handful of years that Zuzula allegedly shot one of his hands. The first instance happened Jan. 15, 2016, in Grayling Township in Crawford County.
Interviewed by police while hospitalized, Zuzula said he had been cleaning his Glock model 19 9mm handgun at his kitchen table, the magazine removed, when he pulled the trigger. A bullet exited the barrel and struck Zuzula in the palm of his left hand, according to police reports.
Seated at the table was Zuzula’s then-girlfriend, who would later be wounded by him in the May 24 shooting. The couple’s infant son was in an adjacent room.
Zuzula was not intoxicated when the 2016 shooting occurred, police reports state.
Zuzula was later charged with careless or reckless discharge of a firearm, but in April 2016 received a delayed sentence and the charge was dismissed. He was court-ordered to forfeit the Glock 19 he used.
At Zuzula’s Tuesday arraignment in Saginaw, Judge Fichtner freed the defendant on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond. A condition of the bond is that he do not possess any firearms, with Fichtner ordering him to surrender his guns to Thomas Township police.
The judge allowed Zuzula to have peaceful contact with his wife.
Zuzula is to appear for a pre-examination conference at 8:50 am on June 21.
Zuzula’s wife’s wounding makes her the first of three pregnant women struck by gunfire in Saginaw County in recent weeks.
The second such instance involved 24-year-old Laura Buendia, shot along with four others at a family gathering at 326 11th St. in Saginaw in the early morning of June 5. Buendia was killed, though doctors managed to save the daughter she was pregnant with.
Then, on the afternoon of June 9, 27-year-old Jessica M. Gomez was shot in the parking lot of B&H Market, 925 N. Bond Road in Saginaw. Gomez and the fetus she was carrying died.
The killers of Buendia and Gomez remain at large as of the morning of Thursday, June 16.
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