CHICAGO (CBS) — A thrift store employee died Friday after a small gun hidden in discarded clothing accidentally went off and fatally wounded her.

Maria Carmen Dominguez (courtesy: family)

Maria Carmen Dominguez (courtesy: family)

The victim, 54, had been sorting through castoff clothing with a male co-worker at Unique Thrift Store in the 9300 block of South Ashland Avenue about 9:45 a.m.

When the male co-worker discovered a sock with something inside, he emptied the sock and a .22-caliber handgun fell into his hand, police said. The weapon accidentally discharged and struck the victim in the chest, police said. She later died at Christ Hospital.

Police say the incident appears to be a tragic accident.

The victim is identified as Maria Carmen Dominguez. Her husband, Victor Campos, spoke with CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman at the scene in Brainerd neighborhood, saying the couple has a 17-year-old daughter.

“I think they should have been more careful,” he said. “Because they take all kinds of stuff.”