Police: Boy, 7, shot in home amid family dispute

Child’s mother says boy is in hospital in stable condition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 7-year-old boy was shot Friday at a home on Jacksonville’s Westside, authorities said.

Police were called to an address on Dakar Street near Cassat Avenue about 11 a.m. in response to multiple reports of shots fired, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Beau Bottin said by the time officers arrived, they learned the boy had been driven to an area hospital.

Tarvia Foster, the child’s mother, said she drove her son to the hospital. She said her boy’s name is Dionta.

“As of right now he’s in stable condition,” Foster said. “He’s going to be OK, as far as I know.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the shooting is believed to have stemmed from an altercation between family members at the home, which escalated into a “physical confrontation.”

“I saw a gentleman across the street run over there as he’s going to break it up, and that’s when I heard about four or five shots, and I heard a woman say, ‘You shot my child,’” said Mathew Peebles, a witness.

Police said it does not appear the boy was the target of the gunfire, and the boy was at the front of the home when the gun was discharged during the altercation.

“I was scared to move him, unfortunately, because he was bleeding. But my fiancé, he ripped his shirt off. Paramedics told me over the phone to just put pressure (on the wound) with a towel or shirt or anything. I just put pressure and kept it covered,” Foster said.

Police said the boy’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. No one else was wounded.

“He’s up at the hospital right now eating ice cream and watching cartoons,” Foster said.

Detectives asked anyone with additional information that could help investigators to contact the Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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