Saturday, May 26, 2018
Public safety

Legally owned guns were under a bed when 9-year-old shot teen cousin in St. Petersburg, police say

ST. PETERSBURG — A 76-year-old father was the owner of a gun that was used on his teenage son by a 9-year-old cousin Saturday, according to police.

The victim, 16-year-old Anas Jaber of 817 85th Ave. N, spent a night in the hospital after he was shot in the hand and the neck with a .45-caliber Glock pistol. Detectives will turn over the findings of their investigation to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office this week, police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

No arrests have been made.

According to Puetz, three weapons — the pistol, an AK-47-style rifle and an AR-15-type rifle — were kept in the home under the bed of the father, Jaber Mohammed Jaber. Police confiscated the weapons, though the elder Jaber was legally allowed to own the weapons.

It was unclear how the 9-year-old boy, who was visiting with his mother from Kentucky, got ahold of the pistol. According to a police report, Anas Jaber was playing video games in the home about 3 p.m. Saturday when he noticed that his cousin was pointing a gun at him. The teen raised his left hand and told his cousin to put the gun down when it went off.

A bullet passed through Anas Jaber's hand and went into his neck, police said. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center and released after being treated for superficial wounds.

The teen initially told officers he had been the victim of a drive-by shooting, but he later said it was an accident, police said. He said he initially lied because he didn't want his cousin or anyone else to get into trouble.

Police noted in their report that the 9-year-old boy has Down syndrome.

Puetz said it will be up to prosecutors to determine what kind of charges to file, if any, against the owner of the guns or the boy.

Calls to the home, where Puetz said "a lot of people stay," were not returned Monday. A man who answered the door over the weekend refused to talk to a reporter.

According to jail records, a then-18-year-old Nasser Jaber was listed as living at the address when he was arrested and charged with armed robbery and carrying a concealed firearm in June 2009. It was not immediately clear how he was related.

Emily Nipps can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8452.

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