JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 2-year-old boy died Monday night after an apparent accidental shooting inside a Panama Park home.
The shooting was reported about 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of 43rd and Main streets.
Emergency responders found the child at a home in that area. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, an officer tried performing CPR on child, and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue also tried saving the child’s life, but he died at UF Health Jacksonville.
Police did not release the child’s gender or age, but loved ones at the scene said the victim was a 2-year-old boy.
Police said another child stays at the home, but it wasn’t clear if that child was in the home at the time of the shooting. The second child wasn’t injured. Police confirmed adults were also at the home when the gun went off but didn’t say how many.
The owner of the home told News4Jax he didn’t know children were living in the house because he had rented it to a man with no kids three months ago.
According to a family friend, the mother of the child who was shot had just moved in this week.
The Department of Children and Families was called to the scene to investigate, following standard protocol for incidents involving children.
Police said everyone who was at the scene at the time of the shooting was detained and interviewed. No arrests have been made.
In a February 2019 case in Jacksonville, a 2-year-old shot himself inside a Westside apartment, and the child’s mother was later sentenced to seven years in prison for neglect. The mother’s boyfriend served one year in prison for negligence.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said it's too soon to determine if anyone will be arrested in Monday's shooting.
He said although we don’t know the circumstances in this case, it serves as a tragic reminder to anyone with guns in their home to double-check that they are properly locked away and secured, especially from children.
“You have to always keep your weapon separate from ammunition. Lock it up,” Jefferson said. “They are curious. They are going to try to find it and play with it, and, unfortunately, this happens all too often when we talk about children and guns.”