Jefferson County authorities say a woman accidentally shot and killed her husband because she didn't realize a gun was loaded.

Sheriff's Capt. Ron Arnhart says 43-year-old David Utz died Saturday evening at his home near Imperial.

Authorities say Utz, his 29-year-old wife and friends were looking at guns at their home. While the woman was out of the room, her husband loaded a gun and set it down.

Arnhart says the woman returned to the room, picked up the gun and somehow fired a single shot into her husband's chest. He says the shooting appeared to be accidental.

The wife's name was not released.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatchreports investigators will send a report to the Jefferson County prosecutor's office, who will determine whether charges will be filed.

Risto Viitanen