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St. Pete police: 5-year-old dies from accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A family is heartbroken on this Mother’s Day weekend after a 5-year-old boy died from what police said appears to be an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot.

Around 2:27 p.m. Saturday, SPPD received a call about a child shot at 3738 18th Terrace S. When officers arrived, they found Ja’Cari Ellis suffering from a gunshot wound, police said.

“Our preliminary investigation has so far revealed that this was a tragic accident, that Ja’Cari got a hold of a gun and accidentally shot himself,” St. Petersburg Police spokesperson Sandra Bentil said.

The boy was taken to All Children’s Hospital where he later died from his injuries, police said.

“I’m just really sorry and hurt for him being such a little fellow and I couldn’t imagine the pain he felt when that bullet hit him,” maternal great grandmother Peggy Wells told 8 On Your Side.

Wells described her great grandson as active, funny and loveable.

“He was just a real playful young little fellow, full of life,” she said, speaking on behalf of his mom’s family.

Wells said she had just visited her mom’s grave to place flowers and balloons before rushing to the hospital when she found out Ja’Cari had been shot.

“They were saying they were working on him and everything making sure that they were doing all they could do and then they came out and said he was gone,” Wells said.

As Wells tries coming to grips with losing one of her great grandchildren, she is leaning on her loved ones and asking for prayer.

“Please pray for my family,” she said, “especially the young people. Please pray for his mom, his little brother. He got a little brother, too, just keep them in prayer.”

Wells said her granddaughter is pregnant and expecting her third son.

8 On Your Side will stay on top of this story and try to learn more critical details like who owns the gun, who was home at the time and whether anyone will face charges.

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