A Peru woman faces charges of Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm without Permit, and Possession of Marijuana following a traffic stop early Sunday morning.

According to a Probable Cause Affidavit filed with the Miami County Prosecutor’s office, Peru Police Officer Jeremy Brindle was in an unmarked police vehicle observing traffic at the intersection of South Smith St. and East Main Street at approximately 2:03 a.m. on Sunday morning when he observed a vehicle traveling eastbound on East Main approaching his location. Just before the vehicle passed his location, Brindle heard a gunshot, which appeared to come from the approaching vehicle. Brindle began following the vehicle after it passed his location.

The vehicle then turned north onto Garfield Street. Brindle activated the emergency lights on the police vehicle when the suspect vehicle stopped at the stop sign at Garfield and 5th Streets. The car failed to yield and continued northbound on Garfield. The car then turned into an alley before pulling into the backyard of a residence.

Brindle exited the police vehicle and removed his service weapon when the front passenger door of the vehicle opened and a white male got out of the car and began walking away. The subject was ordered to return to the car. After repeating the order several times, the male finally complied with the order.

Peru Police Officer Keith Smith then arrived on scene to assist. Officers Brindle and Smith approached the vehicle and observed a female sitting in the driver’s seat. The driver was later identified as Marissa Michner, 24, of Peru. While speaking with Ms. Michner, Officer Brindle detected the odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Officer Smith also detected the odor of marijuana.

Both the driver and the passenger were removed from the vehicle to speak with Police. Marissa was advised of the reason for the stop. She then advised that she was attempting to remove the magazine from her handgun and that while attempting this, the gun went off sending a bullet out the front passenger side window. Ms. Michner was then asked where the firearm was located and she advised it was in the front seat of her vehicle.

Both subjects were then placed in handcuffs for officer safety, searched and read their rights. The name of the male passenger was redacted by the Prosecutor’s office from the Probable Cause Affidavit.

A search of the vehicle produced a loaded firearm under the driver’s seat with 8 rounds in the magazine. Officers were also able to locate a small amount of marijuana in the cup holder between the two front seats. The marijuana was field tested later at the Peru Police Department and tested positive for THC. 

Ms. Michner stated that she had just purchased the firearm from a friend. She advised that the passenger was trying to teach her how to unload the weapon as she didn’t know anything about the gun. She stated she was trying to unload the gun because she knew it was illegal for her to be carrying a loaded firearm on her person while she was in a vehicle. She reported that she did not know where the bullet went after it exited the vehicle. Officer Brindle advised that he thought the bullet could have struck the house on the southwest corner of Main and Smith Streets.

The male subject was also interviewed and advised that as he was trying to explain to Marissa how to unload her gun, she had her finger on the trigger. The man advised that the gun fired one round within inches of his face. The round exited the vehicle through the front passenger side window. The male also advised that the marijuana in the car belonged to Ms. Michner. Following the interview, the male was advised that he was free to leave the scene.

Ms. Michner was then transported to the Miami County Jail. She was charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm without a permit and Criminal Recklessness with a Deadly Weapon. She was also cited for expired plates on the car she was operating.

All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.