JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a 5-year-old girl shot and killed by her 8-year-old brother on Saturday is planning her funeral as the man accused of illegally having the gun used in the shooting is ordered held in jail on $200,000 bail.
Serenity was accidentally killed when her older brother fired one shot while the two and a 4-year-old neighbor were alone in a Roosevelt Gardens apartment. The younger boy, Savon, was also hit by the shot, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Because of their ages, News4Jax is not naming the 8-year-old boy police said fired the shot or the last names of the children who were hit.
Both of Serenity’s grandmothers called the shooting an accident and a nightmare. 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.
Fran McCullum, Serenity’s paternal grandmother, said she has not slept in two days while seeing her son grieve the death of his only daughter. She said Serenity's mother treated the children well and what happened was a tragic mistake.
"She has always been a good mom. That’s why, when the incident happened, I was shocked," McCullum said. "That’s something she never did. I never expected that out of her. Never."
Serenity’s family is left with memories of the girl's bright smile and happy spirit. McCullum said her granddaughter loved to play dress-up and with coloring books.
Serenity’s parents didn’t live together, but they worked together to give Serenity the best life possible. Now they are heartbroken.
"To see my son hurt. Both of them are hurt so bad, and the rest of the family," McCullum said. "My grandbaby should still be here."
On Sunday, the mother’s 34-year-old boyfriend, Maurice Mobley, turned himself in on a warrant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Mobley is a registered sex offender and has multiple arrests over the past 16 years.
Mobley's family was angry that the media was covering the hearing, one person telling the News4Jax crew, "Take the camera off my daddy."
Mobley will be back in court for his arraignment Feb. 28.
Florida’s Department of Children and Family is conducting its own investigation into the shooting and the circumstances that led up to it.
“We were horrified to learn of this awful tragedy and opened a child death investigation to examine all circumstances surrounding this incident," DCF Communications Director Jessica Simms said in a statement. "The surviving children are in the care of relatives as we continue to investigate and help them begin to heal from this tragedy."
Family members said a funeral for Serenity could be held this Saturday, but they were still making arrangements.