JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 6-year-old boy got a hold of a gun inside a Dinsmore home Tuesday evening and accidentally shot himself in the head, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said. The child died from his injuries.
A woman who said she was the boy’s grandmother identified him as 6-year-old Danny Waye III and said the shooting was a freak accident. A friend of the family said Waye was “a precious little boy, full of life.”
A 14-year-old boy who is not a relative but is known to the boy’s family has been charged with culpable negligence in the boy’s death.
According to JSO, Waye was in a bedroom watching TV when he found the gun and shot himself in the head. Police were called to the scene near the intersection of Allene Road and Lowe Lane at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. They said seven occupants from the home were detained for questioning, including the 14-year-old.
Police said the 14-year-old accused of improperly storing the gun had possession of the weapon earlier that day. News4Jax is not identifying the teenager because of his age and the nature of the charge.
Eric Friday, the general counsel for Florida Carry, is known for his advocacy in firearms law. He said it’s not uncommon for a child to gain access to guns in a home.
“One of the things that we always cover is the importance of safe storage,” Friday said. Florida Law requires that if you have reason to believe that children might gain access to a firearm in your home, that you have to store it in some way where a reasonable person would not expect a child to gain access.”
According to our News4Jax records, last June, a 2-year-old boy was accidentally shot to death in a Panama Park home and in 2019, a 2-year-old got a hold of a gun in a Westside apartment and fatally shot himself.
Friday stresses gun owners can use a trigger lock or store in a quick-release safe for safekeeping.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson agrees with that and said kids should be educated about guns.
“I understand the concern about ‘What if I need it in a hurry? I don’t need to be going through the motions.’ Would you rather be going through these motions that the family is going through right now as opposed to the alternative? I say not,” Jefferson said.
Police say Waye’s parents do not live at the home. Records show they are both serving prison time on drug convictions.