BROOKSVILLE — Katherine Lynn Bryan grew up in New Port Richey, the youngest in a tight-knit group of four siblings. She recently got married and became Katherine Hoover. At the age of 25, she was five months pregnant. The new baby was going to be her second son.
Instead, a tragic gun accident at a friend's house left the young mother and her unborn child dead Sunday.
"What has happened is truly a tragic shock," said a distraught Gary Bryan, one of her brothers. "My sister was a wonderful and special woman. She was a wonderful wife and mother. She had just gotten married and was getting herself established."
A stay-at-home mother who had recently moved from New Port Richey to Inverness, Katherine Hoover died in a hospital emergency room early Sunday.
She was shot in the head Saturday evening while being shown a gun at a friend's house in Brooksville, authorities said.
She and her husband, Carson Hoover, had gone to visit friends at 20079 Suncrest Drive in northwest Brooksville, just outside the city limits.
Sometime around 6:45 p.m. inside the house, William DeHayes was showing the Hoovers some of his guns, including a .22-caliber revolver. The gun accidentally fired and shot Katherine Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Hoover was rushed to Bayfront Health Brooksville and then airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
Her unborn child could not be saved. Shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, physicians removed the 5-month-old fetus from his dying mother in a last-ditch attempt to save him. But he was pronounced dead just after 8:30 p.m.
Hoover succumbed to her injuries just after 3 a.m. Sunday. She is survived by her other son, 6-year-old Nicholas, her family said.
The investigation into the shooting continues. Authorities say it appears to be an accident and are releasing no more information at this time.
The gun owner, DeHayes, is 35 years old and has no criminal history, records show.
Hoover's sudden loss left her family and friends reeling.
"She was truly a special person, inside and out," said her only sister, Kayleigh Bryan. "We were blessed to have the time that we had with her. She's going to be missed very much."
Hoover attended Gulf High School in Port Richey. She got married to Carson Hoover, a heavy-equipment driver, last December.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Mike Brassfield at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Follow @MikeBrassfield.