JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police have released the name of the 5-year-old girl shot to death Saturday by her 8-year-old brother at the Roosevelt Gardens apartments, and officers arrested a man they believe brought the gun into the apartment that was used in the shootings.
Police said an 8-year-old boy picked up a gun and fired one shot, killing his 5-year-old sister, Serenity, and injuring a 4-year-old neighbor, Savon, who was taken to UF Health Jacksonville and is expected to survive.
Because of their ages, News4Jax is not naming the 8-year-old police said fired the shot or the last names of the children who were hit.
The boyfriend of Serenity’s mother, Maurice Mobley, 34, turned himself into police Sunday and was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police said they believe Mobley was responsible for bringing the gun into the home.
Police said the shooting happened just after 1 p.m. Saturday while the mother of at least one of the children went to a store, leaving the three young children alone in a unit of the the apartment complex off Eighth Street just east of Interstate 95.
The two boys ran next door and told a neighbor that Serenity had been shot. Police said the 4-year-old lives in the same block of the apartment complex.
"Every time I see her, she always has her kids. If you go in her house, there's a house full of food. That's a good mama," neighbor Sabrina Lloyd said. "So all that we're seeing on Facebook, Instagram and stuff talking about she's bad, no she is not. She is a good mom in my Bible, my book. She is a good mom."
Police obtained a warrant for Mobley's arrest and he surrendered Sunday afternoon. He was being held on $200,000 bond and was expected to appear before a judge Monday morning on the gun charge.
News4Jax learned that Mobley as a registered sex offender, having been arrested in 2001 for a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 16.
In 2002, Mobley was arrested for resisting an officer without violence, the next year for battery in a detention facility and in 2004 for domestic felony battery and false imprisonment. He was charged in 2008 with failure to update information with the sex offender registry and arrested again in 2010 for resisting an officer. In 2015, Mobley was found guilty of trespassing and possessing marijuana.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said it's unclear if the mother will face charges.
"“They’re going to investigate that also, to see if there are any child neglect charges. It depends on the age of the children, how responsible they were, how many were there, that’s all going to be a part of the investigation," Smith said.
Sgt. Chuck Ford said police consulted with the Department of Children and Families on the case and a child protection team was called to assist in the investigation.
"The only thing I can say right now is I'm praying. I want God to work this out," said Marie Peterson, grandmother of at least one of the victims. "I feel horrible for them. This is a horrible thing, for anybody to have to go through."