Jacksonville toddler accidentally shoots self, friends say

Boy, 2, still in ICU Tuesday night

By Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter, Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer, Frank Powers - Assignment manager

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville toddler remained in intensive care Tuesday evening after family friends said he got hold of a gun and accidentally shot himself at his parent's Northside home.

Children shot in Jacksonville in 2017

  • Feb. 4: Serenity Allen, 5, died after she was shot by an 8-year-old boy at Roosevelt Gardens Apartments. The gun belonged to Maurice Mobley, who was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • April 30: Ra’Mya Eunice, 12, was shot in the head during a sleepover on Willow Branch Lane. She died a month later. An 11-year-old boy was charged with manslaughter in the case.
  • May 14: An unidentified 5-year-old boy was shot inside a home on Vining Street in the Jacksonville Heights area. The boy’s name was not released. At last check, the boy survived.
  • May 17: Elijah Datson, 3, accidentally shot himself inside a home on Whisper Glen Drive North. It remains unclear who owns the gun or how the boy got hold of it.
  • June 29: Ronald Blackman, Jr., 9, was accidentally shot by a friend with a gun belonging to his father. Blackman’s father was charged with permitting possession of a firearm by a minor.
  • July 16: An unidentified 7-year-old boy was shot in the arm while sleeping at his Doncaster Avenue home. The details in this case remain unclear.
  • Sept. 12: Henry Atkins, 14, was accidentally shot and killed by a teenage friend playing with a gun behind a vacant building on Ricker Road. The friend was charged with manslaughter.

Source: News4Jax records

Bradley Schwarzer was taken to UF Health in life-threatening condition Monday after the shooting at a home near West 71st Street and Vermillion Street about 7 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

The bullet entered through the child's abdomen and exited through his lower back, friends said. They said the boy remains in the intensive care unit, but noted he is showing signs of improvement.

The family friends said the parents, one of whom were home at the time, are struggling with what happened. They're asking the public to reserve their criticism of the parents.

"Don't beat the family up. Pray for them," Dale Anderson said. "All this stuff that's been on social media ... needs to come to a stop, because everything you say is nothing but hurt to these people, and you're making their situation a lot worse."

The 2-year-old boy has undergone two surgeries, but more procedures are expected as he recovers, Anderson said.

The Florida Department of Children and Families and the State Attorney's Office were both notified, the Sheriff's Office said.

Monday's shooting comes a day after a 14-year-old girl was wounded in what police described as an accidental shooting at her mother's hands on the Westside.

In that case, police said the mother was cleaning her gun inside the family's home on Playschool Lane near Ricker Road when the weapon discharged. The teen was hospitalized in serious condition.

It's unclear whether anyone will be charged in either case.

In Florida, parents and guardians can be charged with culpable negligence, a third-degree felony, when a child is injured or killed because a loaded gun was left within a child's reach.

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