HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County father who was accused of shooting his two children, leaving one dead and the other in critical condition, is expected to make his first appearance in court on Monday.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that Jermaine Lavanda Bass was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated child abuse after allegedly shooting his 5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.
“This case is not only tragic, but extremely disturbing,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
On Monday evening, deputies were called to Bass’ home in the Armature Gate Townhomes community and found the 30-year-old holding his son. He said he accidentally shot the 8-year-old, according to deputies.
But authorities said it was an intentional crime.
“There’s a 5-year-old laying in the top bunk, in a pool of her own blood. She is shot two to three times in her head,” Chronister said. “You don’t accidentally shoot your children three to four times in the head.”
The little girl was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. The 8-year-old remains in critical condition at the hospital, Chronister said.
Residents in the area said they heard sirens Monday night, but did not expect this outcome.
The sheriff said there had been no previous calls for service to the home. He added that Bass has no criminal history.
“To this mother who lost one child and could possibly lose a second, and whose marriage is over, our hearts go out to you,” the sheriff added.
Bass remains in custody at the Hillsborough County jail. He is scheduled to appear before at judge at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
“I hope that this individual feels the full weight of the criminal justice system and never sees the light of day where he can be in a position to harm another human being,” Chronister said.