JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 6-year-old girl was hospitalized for treatment Monday night after she was found shot in a Royal Terrace home, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating and it’s not clear whether it was an accident, intentional or if the child shot herself. The girl was shot in the hand and will recover, according to authorities.
“There are multiple individuals inside the residence,” JSO Lt. Mike Silcox said. “We’re still trying to determine the relationship of everyone in there.”
Police said they were getting a search warrant and questioning witnesses, but their stories conflicted. They said they were getting a search warrant for the house and would also examine physical evidence.
“If the family does not want to cooperate then that forces JSO’s hand to do everything they can or they have to do to determine the truth, and they will,” News4JAX Crime and Safety expert Ken Jefferson said.
This little girl is among at least 27 children shot in Jacksonville this year. A handful were kids accidentally shot, like 14-year-old Ayva Guthrie, described as a straight A student. She died from the shooting.
“Ayva was probably the coolest kid I’ve ever met in my life,” Ayva’s aunt, AnDee Begier, said. “She was so sweet. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her ever talk bad about anybody.”
Ayva’s mother Amanda Guthrie is facing charges, including manslaughter.
Investigators told News4JAX earlier this year they believe the teen was holding the gun and handed it to her mother when it went off, firing a single shot.
“Every time I hear that like a child is shot accidentally, it like kills me,” Beiger said. “Because it’s 100 percent preventable.”
Experts say you should always treat a gun as if it’s loaded and keep it properly stored—locked away from where children can access it or even see it.
Anyone who knows anything about the shooting on Dodge Road is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.