Lakeland, Florida (AP) —According to Florida officials, a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister after finding a gun hidden between sofa cushions by a family friend.
Sheriff Grady Judd of Pork County said at a news conference that the girl was in a “very” critical situation.
After the girl was shot, three men who were at home at the time scooped up the children and jumped into the car to the hospital. Along the way, he collided with another vehicle, resulting in several injuries. The girl and one of the adults were taken to the hospital by a good Samaritan who stopped to provide assistance after the crash, Judd said.
The gun was brought to Lakeland, Florida by one of three men who gathered to watch TV on Friday night, officials said.
Kebonte Wilson, 23, told investigators that he placed the gun between the cushions on the sofa to hide it from the children. He was arrested for not being able to store firearms safely, carrying hidden firearms, and possessing marijuana. He may face other counts, Judd said.
The house owner, Chad Beliën, 24, was charged with possessing marijuana and maintaining the house for drug use, according to sheriffs.
Judd said the Florida crime victims’ privacy law couldn’t tell how children relate to adults at home. It was unclear if there was a lawyer to comment on, as online court documents did not show either Wilson or Beliën’s proceedings on Saturday.
Judd said everyone is working with the detective.
The boy was taken to the children’s and family department and placed in his grandmother’s house.
“There was no reason to think this was a deliberate act. He was a baby playing with what he saw as a toy of some sort,” Judd said.
Fixed spelling of Kevonte’Wilson’s first name and Chad Berrien’s last name.