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Iowa student dies after gun mishap in car with her brother

University of Iowa graduate student Megan Sloss, 24, died on Sunday when a gun her brother was disassembling in the car she was driving went off and shot her.
University of Iowa graduate student Megan Sloss, 24, died on Sunday when a gun her brother was disassembling in the car she was driving went off and shot her. Twigg Funeral Home

They had a full, fun day planned on Sunday. Spend some time with family and do some target shooting.

Megan Sloss of Guthrie Center, Iowa, was driving the car. Her brother, Spencer Sloss, 26, sat in the front seat beside her.

At some point he began showing his sister how to disassemble a Sig Sauer 9 mm gun to clean it.

The gun went off. A bullet hit his sister in the hip.

The car was traveling “close to highway speeds,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office in Sac County, Iowa, where the shooting happened. Spencer climbed over the armrest to the driver’s side to stop the car, then called 911.

He took his sister out of the car. A doctor driving by stopped to give medical assistance, the sheriff’s statement said. She was taken to Loring Hospital in Sac City, then airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, where she died a short time later.

Megan was a 24-year-old graduate student at the University of Iowa, where she was working on a master’s degree in social services.

The university posted condolences on Twitter.

Megan, born in Sioux Falls, S.D., planned to spend her career “helping children and adults in need,” her obituary says.

She was a homecoming queen, dancer, teacher and “a good friend to many and a lover of the little things in life,” according to her obit.

Sheriff’s officials said her brother has a valid permit to carry a gun. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Sac County sheriff are investigating the incident, according to KWQC in Davenport, Iowa. No charges have been filed.

The family did not want to comment to the Iowa City Press-Citizen about what happened.

Megan, who loved dance, was a member of the Central College Dance Team when she attended the school. The team posted a tribute to her on its Facebook page, calling her “a talented, beautiful lady.”

“Megan’s greatest love was her family,” her obituary says. “She was her mom’s best friend and her dad’s little girl. She grew up with two older brothers who at first taught her to be tough, and then protected and cherished her and she them.”

Visitation on Thursday was scheduled in the gymnasium of the high school she attended.

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