Monday, September 24, 2018
Public safety

3-year-old boy fatally shoots self with uncle's gun

TAMPA — A 3-year-old boy who found a gun in a backpack and shot himself died Tuesday night, authorities said, a local addition to this month's spate of child shootings nationwide.

The boy, identified by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office as Jadarrius Speights, was with his mother, father and uncle in Apartment 109 of the Avesta apartments at 13144 N 22nd St., just west of the University of South Florida.

The uncle, Jeffrey D. Walker, 29, had bought the 9mm gun at a gun shop and had left it in a backpack in a bedroom he shared with the boy, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

Carter said investigators believe the child found the gun and accidentally shot himself.

Walker was arrested late Tuesday and faces a culpable negligence charge, the Sheriff's Office said. He holds a concealed weapons permit, authorities said.

The boy's parents, Jasmine Bell, 21, and Trentin Speights, 22, were in their bedroom at the time of the shooting.

A 911 call about the shooting came in at 7:10 p.m., Carter said. The boy was transported to Florida Hospital Tampa, where he later died.

Tuesday's shooting came days after accidental shootings of children in South Florida, Alabama and Kentucky.

• On Saturday night, a 13-year-old boy accidentally shot his 6-year-old sister in Oakland Park, just north of Fort Lauderdale. The girl, Angela Divin, was hospitalized in critical condition. The brother, whose name was not released, accidently pulled the trigger of a handgun he found while the two were alone at their Oakland Park home around 7 p.m., authorities said.

• On Friday, a 4-year-old boy in Brighton, Ala., was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot. The boy and a 4-year-old girl were in a bedroom when one of them got hold of a gun, authorities said. Police were not sure which child had the gun, and the incident was under investigation.

• On April 30, 2-year-old Caroline Sparks died after her 5-year-old brother accidentally shot her with his gun, authorities said — a weapon marketed for children as "My First Rifle."

Like the Alabama and South Florida shootings, the shooting in rural Burkesville, Ky., has not resulted in any criminal charges.

Information from the Miami Herald, the New York Times and the Associated Press was used in this report.

Comments
Deputy's wife texted 'Kirk has lost his mind' before murder-suicide, friend says

Deputy's wife texted 'Kirk has lost his mind' before murder-suicide, friend says

LAND O’LAKES — Samantha Keithley sent a series of disturbing text messages late Sunday, complaining about her husband to a longtime friend.“Kirk has lost his mind Kristin,” she wrote in one text to friend Kristin Kellin. &...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Shooter in Clearwater parking space incident makes bail

Shooter in Clearwater parking space incident makes bail

LARGO — Michael Drejka, the man who shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in a case that set off a national debate about self-defense in July, was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Monday afternoon.Always Available Bail Bonds posted $100,000 bai...
Updated: 4 hours ago
John Jonchuck set for spring 2019 trial in death of daughter Phoebe

John Jonchuck set for spring 2019 trial in death of daughter Phoebe

CLEARWATER — The day John Jonchuck was supposed to go on trial in the murder of his 5-year-old daughter, attorneys met instead to discuss a new trial date.The trial was delayed after Jonchuck’s attorneys raised concerns about one of the prosecutors’ ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Firefighters respond to blaze in Lakewood High School gymnasium

Firefighters respond to blaze in Lakewood High School gymnasium

St. Petersburg firefighters responded to a blaze early Monday that began in the center of the gymnasium at Lakewood High School.According to St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, firefighters arrived on the south side of the school at 1400 54th Ave. S about 5:...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s SUV struck in chain-reaction crash on Trinity Boulevard

Pinellas sheriff’s SUV struck in chain-reaction crash on Trinity Boulevard

TARPON SPRINGS — A Pinellas sheriff’s deputy was caught up in a chain-reaction crash that took place early Monday at the intersection of Trinity Boulevard and East Lake Road. The crash took place at about 6:28 a.m., according to the Pinellas County S...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Dallas police say Officer Amber Guyger, accused of fatally shooting neighbor in his own apartment, has been fired

Dallas police say Officer Amber Guyger, accused of fatally shooting neighbor in his own apartment, has been fired

DALLAS — A white police officer accused of fatally shooting her black neighbor inside his own apartment was fired Monday for "adverse conduct," the Dallas Police Department said in a statement.Police Chief U. Renee Hall dismissed Officer Amber Guyger...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pasco deputies identify body of man found in wooded Wesley Chapel campsite

Pasco deputies identify body of man found in wooded Wesley Chapel campsite

WESLEY CHAPEL — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has identified a body discovered Saturday in a wooded area as a 60-year-old Hillsborough County man.Two people flagged down a deputy Saturday to report a decomposing body in the woods north of Beardsl...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Five new details on Clearwater parking space shooting

Five new details on Clearwater parking space shooting

More than two months have passed since Michael Drejka shot Markeis McGlockton in the parking lot of a convenience store.While developments in the headline-grabbing case have slowed to a trickle as it crawls through the court system, the Tampa Bay Tim...
Published: 09/24/18
Hillsborough asking why rescue captain stayed back as patient’s friends performed CPR

Hillsborough asking why rescue captain stayed back as patient’s friends performed CPR

TAMPA — It was almost 4 a.m. when the man’s friends found him unconscious in a Riverview home and called 911.His breath was shallow and he was turning blue. With the 911 call-taker giving instructions, his friends performed CPR and waited.Ten minutes...
Published: 09/24/18
Police in St. Petersburg searching for missing elderly man

Police in St. Petersburg searching for missing elderly man

Police in St. Petersburg are searching for a missing elderly man.Shortly after 5 p.m., Frederick Mein, 86, drove his silver Toyota Tacoma pickup truck from his home on the 1500 block of 78th Avenue N to his daughter’s house a couple of miles away. He...
Published: 09/23/18