Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Public safety

Florida gun-rights advocate shot in the back by her 4-year-old son, deputies say

PALATKA — Hours after gun-rights advocate Jamie Gilt bragged on Facebook that her 4-year-old son "gets jacked up to target shoot," the same child accidentally turned his mother into a target, shooting her in the back.

The 31-year-old Jacksonville woman was driving down a road in Putnam County on Tuesday when her son managed to get hold of a gun while he was sitting in the back seat, according to a statement released by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Officials told the Florida Times-Union that the child fired a .45-caliber handgun that he found on the truck's floor into the driver's seat.

"She was shot through the seat and the round went through her back," sheriff's Capt. Joseph Wells told the Times-Union. "There was a booster seat in the back of the vehicle, but, however, the boy was not strapped in when the deputy got to them."

Gilt's vehicle was spotted by a sheriff's deputy who was driving by and noticed Gilt in the driver's seat "motioning to him as if she needed assistance," according to police. After approaching the vehicle, the deputy realized that Gilt had been shot.

"The deputy provided first aid until the arrival of paramedics," the statement said. "The victim was transported to University of Florida Health in Gainesville and was last reported to be in stable condition. The only other occupant of the vehicle was the victim's 4-year-old son, who was unharmed."

Before she went into the emergency room, the statement notes, Gilt told police that she had been shot by her son.

The boy was returned to his family, police said. The Florida Department of Children and Family Services was also notified, and police are investigating how the child got hold of the gun and whether the incident warrants criminal charges.

Under Florida law, it is "a misdemeanor for a person to store or leave, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm in such a manner that it is likely a child can gain access to the firearm."

"Those questions center around how is the firearm secured?" Wells told WJXT. "Where was it carried in the vehicle? And exactly how did the young boy come in possession of the firearm?"

A woman answering the telephone at Gilt's home refused to comment and hung up.

Gilt's social media presence is filled with pro-gun messages, Second Amendment memes and posts supporting the NRA, as well as photos of her posing with weapons.

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