A Williston Park man who police said shot his girlfriend in the back with a rifle Monday after a heated argument over the television show "The Walking Dead" told authorities he was annoyed that she came to his apartment to smooth things over.
In a statement to police, Jared M. Gurman, 26, said he told his girlfriend, Jessica Gelderman, 27, also of Williston Park, to leave.
"Jess walked into the room and I fired the gun once and hit her," Gurman said. "She said, 'Oh my God. What did you do?' "
A single round from a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle pierced Gelderman's lung and diaphragm, and shattered her ribs, said Nassau Det. Lt. Raymond Cote, commander of the Third Squad.
Police said Gurman drove his girlfriend to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, where he was arrested. As of late Tuesday, police said, Gelderman was in stable condition with the bullet still in her body.
At Gurman's arraignment Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead, his attorney, Edward L. Lieberman, of Garden City, entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client, but outside court he acknowledged that Gurman unintentionally shot his girlfriend.
"The rifle went off accidentally," Lieberman said.
Gurman, of 516 Marcellus Rd., was arraigned on one count of second-degree attempted murder. Nassau District Court Judge Valerie Alexander ordered him jailed without bail.
Gurman and Gelderman, who had been dating for 31/2 years, went out Sunday night when they began arguing about the show, an AMC thriller featuring zombies in a post-apocalyptic world, Cote said.
"I just know that he felt very adamant that there could be some type of military mishap that would result in some sort of virus or something being released that could cause terrible things to happen," Cote said.
Gelderman, Cote said, thought her boyfriend's belief was absurd.
"She felt that it was ridiculous," Cote said.
The argument escalated, police said, and Gelderman decided not to spend the night at Gurman's apartment and instead went to her parents' home.
Later, the two continued arguing through text messages, Cote said. Gelderman became concerned because Gurman had become so agitated, police said, and went to his apartment to try and calm him down.
When Gelderman showed up, Gurman told police he was sitting on the stairs holding his rifle.
"She tried to defuse the situation and calm him down and told him, 'Let's just go to bed,' " Cote said.
Gurman pointed the rifle and fired one round into the middle of Gelderman's back as she climbed the stairs, police said.