Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County investigators: Parents of Palm Harbor boy shot in the head forgot they had gun

PALM HARBOR — The parents of a 12-year-old boy who shot himself in the head last week forgot they kept a gun in their closet, according to Pinellas County sheriff's investigators.

Jacob Larson was discovered by his stepfather, 50-year-old Joseph Newton, about 11 a.m. Friday at the family's home at 435 Laughing Gull Lane. He had a gunshot wound to the head, but is still alive and remains hospitalized, deputies said.

The shooting is being investigated as accidental because deputies say they found no evidence that it was a suicide attempt or a result of bullying.

A day after the shooting, the boy's half-brother, Mark Larson, told the St. Petersburg Times the incident was a "mystery" because he didn't think the family had a gun in the home.

"They are not ones to have guns," Larson said. "They are so against that."

According to detectives, Jacob's mother, 42-year-old Tracy Newman, and his stepfather said they forgot they stored a small .25-caliber handgun in a box in the closet. Newman told detectives she received the gun six years ago from her employer and she had never checked it or fired it.

The gun was described as an old, small semiautomatic weapon of European make. Detectives think Jacob retrieved the gun sometime after 7:40 a.m., when his mother left for work. He typically leaves for school about 8:30 or 9. He was discovered when his stepfather got home from work about 11.

No charges have been filed, deputies said, and Newman and Newton are being cooperative.

Emily Nipps can be reached at nipps@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8452.

Pinellas County investigators: Parents of Palm Harbor boy shot in the head forgot they had gun 04/20/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 20, 2009 8:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans

    Blogs

    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?

    Blogs

    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo

    Nation

    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies

    News

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win

    Colleges

    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.