Monday, January 22, 2018
Public safety

Deputies arrest man accused of leaving 4-year-old with gun

TAMPA — Deputies have arrested a man wanted since last month for leaving his 4-year-old nephew alone with a gun before the boy shot his aunt in the back, authorities said.

Randall Simmons, 22, was picked up Wednesday outside the Florida Department of Corrections Probation Office at 12421 N Florida Ave., where detectives with a Hillsborough sheriff's intelligence team tracked him, authorities said. Simmons had gone to the office with his sister and waited in the car while she went inside to meet with her probation officer, authorities said.

While she was gone, detectives walked up to the car and arrested Simmons, deputies said. Another man who was in the car, Donte Beasley, 24, was arrested on a warrant for a probation violation.

The boy involved in the Oct. 21 shooting was also in the car, authorities said.

That day, Simmons showed the .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun to the child while sitting in a van at 9017 E Adamo Drive near Brandon, deputies said. Simmons then went in a store.

While he was gone, the boy played with the gun, deputies said. A shot pierced the front passenger seat and hit the boy's aunt, Shantell Wilson, in the back, authorities said. Seeing a commotion, Simmons returned, removed the boy and two other children and left with a male cousin, deputies said. Wilson, 30, was released the next day from Tampa General Hospital.

Simmons was charged with culpable negligence. After the arrest, the boy and another child in the car were released to Simmons' sister, deputies said. She was not charged with any crime.

Simmons and Beasley were booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

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