The 21-year-old found a 9mm handgun left behind by a security guard at her Moscow office and decided to pose for a photograph holding it, a police spokesman told Interfax news agency.
While taking a selfie with one hand, she accidentally pressed the gun’s trigger, shooting herself in the temple at close range.
The incident which happened Thursday but was confirmed by police on Friday, led to the woman being hospitalised in a Moscow clinic.
The victim was in a “serious condition” on Friday, a spokeswoman for Moscow’s Sklifosovsky hospital told RIA Novosti state news agency.
Police are investigating how the woman, who was an office worker, got hold of the gun, a city police spokesman told RIA Novosti.
The security guard had left the gun at work two weeks earlier before going on holiday, the police spokesman said.
The trend for posting selfie photographs online led by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian has prompted risky behaviour worldwide.
A survey this month found 17 percent of Americans had taken a selfie while driving.
US investigators in February said a pilot’s repeated snapping of selfie photos caused a small plane to crash, killing both people on board. – AFP