Teen hurt in accidental shooting, another to face charges

Police said 6 minors were playing with a gun unsupervised

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg after the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said he and five other children, ages 12 to 16, were playing with a gun unsupervised in the Regency neighborhood.

Around 11 p.m. Friday, police were called to an apartment in Arlington. Police said evidence points to the incident being an accident.

JSO said the teen was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

One of the young minors present is expected to be charged with tampering with evidence because according to police, they tried to clean up the scene after the boy was shot.

Police are investigating to find out who owns the gun.

Other charges are pending.

Shannon Beckham is a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, which is a nonprofit that advocated for gun safety.

“There probably will be lasting impacts to that gun violence,” Beckham said.

Although the 16-year-old is expected to be okay, Beckham said this is a situation that was preventable.

“It’s really the responsibility of the adults to make sure that their weapons are secure at all times because kids are curious,” Beckham said.

Moms Demands Action encourages all gun owners to properly secure guns and use locks for extra security to prevent future accidents.

“Hiding it is not considered secure storage. Keeping it in the glove box of your car is not considered safe storage. You want your gun to be secure so if someone finds it like a child or a teen. They cannot use it,” Beckham said.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services suggests gun owners practice the following gun safety rules:

  • Store firearms in a locked box container or secured with a trigger lock
  • Lock firearms and ammunition in separate locations
  • Never store or handle a loaded firearm in the home

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.