APOLLO BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — An Apollo Beach man has been arrested on several charges after a 5-year-old shot himself on accident, deputies said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said it got a call about a child shooting himself at at a home on Sunsail Place at 8:10 a.m. Thursday.
According to deputies, Aston Simmons, 28, drove the child to St. Joseph”s Hospital at the same time the call came in.
However, when detectives arrived at the home on Sunsail Place, they smelled marijuana but failed to find the gun used in the shooting.
After getting a search warrant, deputies found that the 5-year-old got his hands on an unsecured, loaded gun in a bedroom. The sheriff’s office said the child then shot himself on accident.
The child ended up suffering serious injuries and remained in critical condition as of Saturday. As for Simmons, he was arrested on child neglect and improper storage of a firearm.
According to the sheriff’s office, he and the child are not related.
“There is never a circumstance where a child should have access to a firearm,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Now, due to the careless actions of this man, a 5-year-old child is fighting to survive. Please pray for him as he clings to life, and know that the irresponsible person that caused this devastation has been arrested and will be held accountable.”
The sheriff’s office said deputies also found several pounds of marijuana and cash, along with drug paraphernalia. Thus, he will also face charges for possession of marijuana over 20 grams, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia.