PORT RICHEY — A group of about seven kids ran around their Holiday Hill neighborhood on Saturday. They liked to dart in and out of back yards along Camelot Road and chase after each other.
Twenty-one-year-old Joshua O'Dell lives a street over, on Lancelot Road. He didn't like the noise that day, neighbor Jaime Caudle said. She said O'Dell yelled and threatened the kids, then went into his house and grabbed a BB gun. He came out and shot into the air, Caudle said, and the kids ran.
Her daughter Kaylee Caudle, a kindergartener, was in the group.
The kids fled and O'Dell pointed his gun at them while they ran off. He fired three rounds, neighbors said.
Kaylee Caudle was the only one who got hit. The kids ran to the Caudles' house screaming, "The baby's been shot," over and over.
Jaime Caudle said her daughter was crying uncontrollably, so she took her inside and comforted her. She said Kaylee didn't want to leave her room after the shooting.
Caudle lifted her daughter's shirt Monday and showed the damage: two red lines along the side of Kaylee's belly.
"It was a chaotic scene, and Kaylee was hysterical," neighbor Tiffany Bourenina said.
Bourenina lives next door to the Caudles and said the kids might run around, but they're respectful and would've quieted down if asked.
"All (O'Dell) had to say was 'Hey, can you not play in my property?' "
Pasco County sheriff's deputies arrested O'Dell on Saturday on a charge of aggravated battery. The people at O'Dell's house declined to comment on Monday.
Jaime Caudle said that after the shooting, the grandfather of another kid went and talked to O'Dell, and O'Dell threatened him with a hammer and told him to "get off my property."
The sheriff's report said O'Dell denied firing the gun at anyone and told deputies he only showed the kids the gun and told them to leave. O'Dell posted $10,000 bail and was released from jail hours after his arrest.
Kaylee said she is still scared, but she smiled and seemed cheerful on Monday afternoon near her family in front of her house. Jaime Caudle didn't share her daughter's enthusiasm, and said she's afraid something else will happen.
"Now I'm waiting for retribution," she said. "I went up to him when he was in the police car and I said, 'You're the one who shot my baby,' and he just laughed at me."
Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.