A 12-year-old Parrish boy is in intensive care after undergoing surgery after he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun while home with his parents on Wednesday.
But not only should the boy not have had access to a gun, there shouldn’t have been a gun in the home because his father is a convicted drug dealer.
Just before 3:40 p.m. Wednesday, the boys parents called 911 and began performing CPR until the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, firefighters and paramedics arrived to their home in the 4700 block of 100th Drive East in the Harrison Ranch subdivision in Parrish.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Bradenton Herald
The boy’s father was in another room when he heard the gunshot.
The boy was airlifted and transported to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he underwent surgery. He was in the intensive care unit on Thursday and his prognosis was unknown.
Under Florida law, the boy should not have access to a gun. And because his 41-year-old father is a convicted felon, the revolver handgun should not have been inside the home.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is conducting two investigations: a criminal investigation and a child protection investigation as they try to determine what led to the shooting.
In Manatee County, the sheriff’s office Child Protection Section handles all welfare cases for the Florida Department of Children and Families.
This shooting does not appear to have been intentional, however.
“We have nothing to say this was anything but accidental,” said Captain Dennis Romano, who commands the sheriff’s office Child Protection Section.
Wednesday was not the first time child protection investigators were called to the family’s home. In 2016, an allegation of a lack of supervision was investigated, but the case was later closed as unfounded.
Detectives and child protection investigators are pursuing various avenues in the case, including whether to file criminal charges against the father for being a felon in possession of a handgun, Romano said.
The sheriff’s office also found narcotics and drug paraphernalia in the home on Wednesday, so the Special Investigation Division, which includes narcotics detectives, is assisting with the case.
In April, the father pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to four years probation. He had been facing up to five years in prison.
The Bradenton Herald is not identifying him because no charges have been filed in connection with the shooting.
The father is scheduled to be on probation until April 2020, but this case could trigger a violation of his probation. Conditions of his probation include that he serve 50 community service hours, undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and any treatment deemed necessary, and maintain a full-time job or attend school.
His prior convictions include possession of a controlled substance, possession of cocaine with intent to sell within 200 feet of public housing, purchase of cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to sell and various misdemeanors.