Largo police: Man fires homemade shotgun, blows off thumb

Published July 8, 2016

LARGO — A 26-year-old man blew his thumb off Wednesday night after firing a homemade shotgun in his back yard, according to Largo police.

Police responded to the 100 block of Cleveland Avenue at 9:50 p.m. Wednesday and said they found Emiliano Fernandez with burns to his chest and a severed left thumb, said Largo police Lt. Paul Amodeo.

Police said on Thursday it wasn't clear if Fernandez shot his thumb off or if the gun malfunctioned. The homemade shotgun was made out of PVC pipe, copper tubing and a galvanized steel cap, police said. Officers said they also found other gun parts and 23 12- gauge shotgun shells in Fernandez's bedroom after he agreed to let them search his apartment, according to an arrest affidavit.

Fernandez was taken Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for treatment, the lieutenant said, and then booked into the Pinellas County jail.

He faces charges of being a felon in possession of ammunition and making, possessing or discharging a destructive device. Fernandez was being held Thursday in jail in lieu of $15,000 bail. He's also being held on an outstanding warrant for failure to pay child support.