A four-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after he shot himself in the chest with a handgun that he found under a dresser at his home in Tampa, Florida.
Detectives say the little boy apparently grabbed the pistol and accidentally pulled the trigger.
The boy, Roshad Richardson, was taken to hospital on Tuesday where he underwent emergency surgery. Officials say he’s in stable condition.
Akia Thomas, 26, was at home with the boy when the shooting occurred.
Tampa police have since confirmed that they have arrested Thomas who is said to be the boyfriend of the child’s mother.
He has been arrested on a number of charges including possession of a weapon by a felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, unsafe storage of a firearm and possession of cocaine.
The gun used in this particular shooting is a stolen .38 Taurus handgun.
The boy’s mother had taken her one-year-old child to day care and another older kid to school.
‘The family is good,’ said Roshad’s mom, Delicia Forte, 24, to the Tampa Bay Times. ‘I have a strong backbone, and I’m just grateful my son is doing great. He’s talking, he’s alive, he’s stable, he’s everything.’
‘The only thing I want to discuss is my healthy, stable son,’ Delicia said. ‘He’ll be coming home soon.’
Thomas remained in jail Wednesday. Records don’t list a lawyer for him.
Thomas has a lengthy criminal record with 24 prior felony charges, involving drug charges, and has five felony convictions including convictions for cocaine and marijuana possession, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.
He spent seven months in state prison in 2011 for possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana, records show.
‘He shouldn’t have a gun around him or be around them,’ Col. Donna Lusczynski said in a news conference Tuesday.
Neighbors in the area claim there are too many guns in the community that are left unattended with children.
‘Our law enforcement, they do their job. But, they can’t be everywhere at one time. So, if you do have a gun, I pray to God that you lock it up,’ said neighbor Melvin Hicks to Newschannel 8.
Earlier this month, a 10-year-old shot and killed himself in nearby Clearwater after police said his mother ‘was addressing a behavioral issue.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail / Associated Press