Charges have been filed in the shooting death of Tanya E. Johnson, 34, of Rolla, according to a press release from the Phelps County Sheriff's Department (PCSD).
Johnson had been transported to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC), in Rolla, for treatment of a gunshot wound on Saturday, Dec. 23. She was subsequently flown to Columbia that same evening and later pronounced dead.
Dallas T. Hogue, 26, of St. James has been charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in relation to the shooting.
PCSD and the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) initiated a joint investigation into Johnson's shooting immediately following her admittance to PCRMC. Johnson, according to the probable cause statement had a gunshot wound to the back.
Hogue was "present during the shooting incident" according to the probable cause statement and a press release from PCSD. The press release further went on to say that Johnson's wound was in the upper torso.
When asked for clarification about the location of the gunshot wound, Phelps County Sheriff Rick Lisenbe told the Rolla Daily News, "It's common knowledge she was shot in the back."
An autopsy was performed on Johnson and the cause of death was determined to be "due to a single gunshot wound to the upper torso," according to a press release from PCSD. The press release went on to state that the "manner of death has yet to be determined."
The probable cause statement revealed that a search warrant was executed at the residence where Johnson received the gunshot wound and a "black in color, Ruger .22 caliber pistol was recovered in the living room of the residence near the front door."
"In addition to the firearm, several rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and spent cartridges were located," the investigating officer wrote in the probable cause statement.
Hogue was taken into questioning on Christmas Eve, according to the charging document, and admitted to investigators that he was a convicted felon that was not legally able to possess a firearm.
"He stated that Johnson accidentally shot herself at the rear of the residence with a .22 caliber pistol," the investigating officer wrote in the probable cause statement.
Hogue went on to tell officers that he went to the "rear of the residence," after taking Johnson to a car so he could transport her to seek medical attention, to retrieve the pistol, took it in the house, "where he placed it on a table."
"He said when he entered the residence, the firearm discharged and a bullet penetrated the floor," the investigating officer wrote in the probable cause statement.
The probable cause statement notes that a criminal history check of Hogue revealed that he has "multiple felony convictions."
Hogue is being held on a $50,000 bond and this case is still under investigation by PCSD, MSHP, and the Phelps County Coroner. The investigating agencies would like to encourage anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact Phelps County Detective Sergeant, George Arnold at (573) 426-3860, Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant, Scott Mertens at (573)368-2345, or you can remain anonymous by calling the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department Confidential Tip Line at (573) 426-2936.