The 40-year-old woman was admitted to hospital after she was shot by a fellow patron, who reportedly dropped his loaded gun around 20 minutes into the screening at the Regal Cinemas venue in Renton near Seattle, Washington.

The suspect initially fled the scene, but later turned himself into police and insisted the shooting was an accident.

David Leibman from the Renton Police Department tells, "According to him, he said he dropped the gun and it went off. We have witnesses that say he came into the theatre and appeared intoxicated. He went in and took a seat in theatre number nine and was fumbling with a pistol when it went off and struck someone sitting in front of him."

The injured cinema-goer is recovering at the Harborview Medical Center.