Reported by Regina Raccuglia
Metro police said a 61-year-old woman was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday after being shot in the stomach by her elderly father.
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The shooting happened at a home on Pennington Avenue at about 1 a.m.
According to police, Patricia Stafford Curll has lived with her 91-year-old father, Freeman Stafford, in his East Nashville home for 12 years. Police said Stafford is a World War II veteran who suffers from dementia.
Crull told emergency responders that her father shot her while she was assisting him with a hand-held urinal.
The pistol, a .22-caliber revolver, was recovered from a shoebox beside his bed. Within one hour of the shooting, Stafford's son told police that his father received the gun as a gift more than 25 years ago and the family had no idea he still had the gun.
Police said they believe Stafford does not fully understand what he did. He was taken was taken to the Veterans Administration Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.
Crull is hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Advice For Families With Dementia Patients
Diane Gramann of the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee called the incident tragic but not uncommon.
She said dementia causes memory loss, language loss, loss of impulse control and emotional control. The condition can cause anger and hallucinations, which is why her agency recommends families remove weapons and ammunition from homes where patients live.
Members of the public seeking help for patients with Alzheimers disease and dementia can call the
Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee
at 615-269-5335 or 866-535-3825.
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