A three-year-old boy from Florida critically wounded his two-year-old sister by accidentally shooting her late Friday night, police said.
The incident unfolded shortly before midnight Friday when three adults were watching a basketball game at 24-year-old Chad Berrien’s home in the Lakeland area. Kevonte’ Wilson, 23, allegedly brought a loaded .380 handgun and shoved it between couch cushions where the kids had been playing, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. Wilson allegedly told authorities he put the gun there to keep it away from the kids, police said in a statement.
#Breaking Sheriff Judd will brief the media at 3:30 pm today at our main operations center @ 1891 Jim Keene Blvd in Winter Haven, in reference to last night’s shooting in #Lakeland (3 yo child shot a 2 yo child) pic.twitter.com/mQDc5n84sp
— Polk County Sheriff ???? (@PolkCoSheriff) May 22, 2021
The three-year-old then found the handgun and pointed it at the two-year-old girl before pulling the trigger, police said. The girl was shot once in her upper left chest and suffered “severe injuries to her internal organs,” police said in the statement. (RELATED: 6-Year-Old Fatally Shot By 3-Year-Old, Police Say)
The three adults rushed the child to the hospital, but a vehicle turned onto the street and the group T-boned the vehicle. Judd said there were “significant injuries” from the crash. A witness rushed the child and Berrien to the hospital.
“Guns are inanimate objects. If you have a gun you have to respect that gun. You must treat all guns like they are loaded all the time,” Judd said. “Appropriately handle them and keep them out of the hands of children. No one in that house that night intended for those babies to have that event that occurred. None of them.”
The three-year-old is in custody of his grandmother. The three-year-old will not be charged “for obvious reasons,” Judd said.
Wilson was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and failure to safely store a firearm, according to police. Judd said other charges could be pending against Wilson including negligence.
Berrien was also arrested on four outstanding warrants.