Florida girl, 2, critical after brother, 3, accidentally shot her with loaded gun family friend hid in couch
POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: A two-year-old girl is reportedly in a critical condition after being accidentally hit by a bullet which was fired by her brother, who is just three. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference, after the mishap, the victim -- whose name has not been released -- underwent an operation and is in an “exceptionally critical condition.”
According to reports, the tragedy struck at a residence in Lakeland, when three men, including the 24-year-old homeowner Chad Berrien, met to watch a basketball game. Another man who came to Berrien’s house allegedly carried a loaded gun and hid it between couch cushions. That man has been identified as 23-year-old Kevonte' Wilson.
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Judd stated that while the men were enjoying the match, the three-year-old whose name has also not been released found the firearm and began playing. He also by mistake fired the bullet which hit his baby sister. The adults soon rushed to the hospital for medical assistance but got into a minor accident with another vehicle. “There were significant injuries from that as well,” the Sheriff said.
However, they were reportedly helped by a “good Samaritan”, who took both the kids as well as an adult to the hospital. The boy and the man were treated and released, but the little girl is still in the hospital. An investigation into the case was launched by the sheriff's office and it was found that the house where the incident happened had a large stock of marijuana. Berrien has been taken into custody and is facing possession of marijuana and maintaining a house for drug use charges.
Authorities have also arrested Wilson and charged him with failing to safely store a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, and possession of marijuana. Besides, since the little boy’s mother was away visiting her sister, he has been given to his grandmother. Judd added: “It just appears to be a horrible, tragic accident that should have never have occurred.”
In another unrelated incident, a six-year-old boy was shot dead while he was on his way to his school with his mother. Aiden Leos was going to school with his mother Joanna Cloonan in their family car when another motorist fired the bullet and killed the child over an apparent road rage incident. The mother had shown the finger to the motorist after they allegedly aggressively took over her car.
Describing the horror of the May 21 morning, the devastated mother said, “They took my son's life away. He was beautiful and he was kind and he was precious, and you killed him for no reason. And I want to find them and I want there to be justice to be served for my son. He meant the world to me, and it feels like my life is over. That was my baby. I've never, never thought pain like this could exist. I hope that people see this [interview] and understand that this is not OK, whatever and whoever these people are and for whatever reason, this is not OK. It should never happen again. So whatever help this does, that's my intention for my son.”