3 year old Lakeland Florida boy finds gun, accidentally shoots 2 year old sister, remains in critical condition. Kevonte Wilson & Chad Berrien arrested.
Here we go again. A 3-year-old boy in Florida found a gun inside a couch and shot a 2-year-old girl in the home while three adults were watching basketball late Saturday night, Florida cops said. The girl has since been identified as the boy’s sister.
The boy ran crying from the room and the adults took her to a hospital — crashing their car on the way, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said according to a Facebook release.
‘There was no reason to think that this was an intentional act,’ Judd said in a statement. ‘He was a baby playing with what he saw as some kind of toy.’
‘It can’t be stressed enough, if you have firearms in your home, keep them away from children,’ Judd added.
‘A beautiful little girl is fighting for her life right now because another child who didn’t know any better was able to get his hands on a loaded gun,’ the official added.
Two men with prior records arrested
Lakeland Police responded to a two-car crash and found one of the cars was on the way to the hospital with the gunshot victim. A Good Samaritan took the child to the hospital, cops said.
The little girl was shot once in the chest and sustained severe injuries to her internal organs, authorities said. The girl was described as remaining in ‘exceptionally critical’ but stable condition, WFLA reported.
The mother of the girl, who was not at the house at the time of the shooting, told police the two children were supposed to be at her home, according to the sheriff’s office.
But two witnesses — Kevonte Wilson and Rodderick Haynes, both 23 – told investigators they were watching basketball when the 3-year-old boy found the gun. The gun belonged to Wilson, cops said.
Wilson had ‘hidden’ the gun in the couch, authorities said.
Wilson, who has had previous arrests including grand theft, is facing charges such as carrying a concealed firearm and failure to store a firearm as well as possession of marijuana. The man could face additional charges.
The home’s owner, Chad Berrien, 24, was charged with possession of marijuana and maintaining a house for drug use, the sheriff said. The man was also arrested on four outstanding warrants (failure to appear for battery, failure to appear for resisting without violence, failure to appear for driving while license cancelled, suspended or revoked, and failure to appear for driving on revoked/suspended license).
Additional charges pending
It wasn’t immediately clear the relationship between the three men watching basketball to that of the children.
The boy has since been taken by the Department of Children and Families and placed in the home of his grandmother.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the shooting.
The weekend incident is the latest of a string of episodes involving children coming across guns and accidentally shooting either themselves, other children or adults. Sometimes fatally.