Update: Monica Morgan, A Prominent Photographer, Is Hospitalized After Gun Mishap
Above: Monica Morgan at the 50th Anniversary Detroit Freedom March in June. (Facebook photo/Frederick J. Smith)
The gunshot victim in this week's Harrison Township kitchen table incident is 50-year-old photographer Monica Morgan, a well-known photographer who covered Nelson Mandela's funeral two weeks ago.
She's in serious condition at McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens, where she had surgery, reports Zahra Huber of WWJ.
The shot was fired by General Holiefield, a national UAW vice-president who married Morgan in Venice, Italy, on Sept. 30, 2012.
Lt. John Michalke said the shooting happened around 8:30 p.m. Monday at a home in the 39700 block of Mazuchet Drive, in a neighborhood just south of the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township.
Michalke said the 60-year-old Holiefield and several other couples had just returned home from visiting an indoor shooting range in Roseville earlier in the day.
“They were sitting around the kitchen table and the homeowner was cleaning his gun. It’s a .45 caliber Desert Eagle semi-automatic handgun. While he was sitting at the kitchen table, he was showing the other persons in attendance how to clean the gun.
"At one point, he was trying to clear the gun, make sure the gun was clear of all ammunition, and it in fact had a round in it. He pulled the trigger, the gun discharged and a single round went across the room and struck his wife in the abdomen."
Morgan served as an official photographer for Rosa Parks and has snapped imaged of dozens of politicians, entertainers, other public figures and ordinary Metro Detroiters during a decades-long career. (See video below by Montez Miller.)
She covered South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994 and Mandela's presidential inauguration that May. Her last visit until this month was for his 90th birthday party on July 18, 2008.
In a recent essay for The Chicago Citizen weekly newspaper, she wrote about hesitating initially to cover this month's funeral in the Eastern Cape province of South Africal:
The answer was obvious: No, I wasn’t going back. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to get clearance. Things had changed so.
My husband said, “you need to go.” Deep down, that wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I needed an excuse to say that I was still a newlywed and it just wasn’t possible for me to go.
Ultimately, Morgan adds, she was "so glad that I had made the journey."
She and Holiefield were married by a monsignor at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy.
"The day was magical," she told Detroit News freelance columnist Chuck Bennett in a call during their European honeymoon. "We rode a water-taxi to the ceremony, where (General) sang Bebe and Cece Winans' song, "When I Found You" to me. It brought tears to my eyes because he is truly my soulmate."
They honeymooned in Athens, Naples, Rome, Livorno, Istanbul, Toulon and Barcelona, Bennett reported in tthe Society Confidential column he and reporter Susan Whitall write weekly.
Tuesday morning article:
A woman was injured Monday evening at the Harrison Township home of UAW Vice President General Holiefield in what appears to be an accidental shooting.
WDIV: Deputies said the 60-year-old homeowner told them he had been cleaning his 45 Desert Eagle semi-automatic handgun at the kitchen table when it accidentally discharged.
The homeowner's wife was hit in the abdomen. She is hospitalized, but is expected to be OK.
Earlier this year, Holiefield announced he would retire from the union in June.