Family wants answers after boy dies from accidental gunshot wound in St. Pete

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A family is hoping the findings of police investigation can help ease the pain of losing a child.

Ja’Cari Ellis, 5, died Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

“It’s a tragedy of how it happened and still there’s unanswered questions,” the boy’s great uncle Bishop Al Baldwin told 8 On Your Side.

Baldwin says he wants to know how Ellis got a hold of the gun, who was with him and whether or not police have recovered the firearm.

“It is our prayer that in due time that we find that information out,” Baldwin added.

A SPPD spokesperson told 8 On Your Side investigators are still speaking with family members as they try to piece together exactly what led up to the shooting.

Baldwin said his great nephew helped his mom through some rough times.

“Even at the age of five he was encouraging his own mom telling her, mom its gonna be OK,” Baldwin said.

Family and friends gathered with balloons and candles for a prayer vigil Monday night, two days after police said the boy accidentally shot himself.

Ellis was found on 18th Terrace South around 2:30 p.m. He died a short time later at All Children’s Hospital.

“I know they gonna miss him, his brother is seven-years-old,” great grandfather James Williams Sr. said.

Williams Sr. believes the shooting could have been prevented.

“Don’t leave a weapon out where kids can get them cause they that big they can pull the trigger,” he said.

Baldwin shared that same message with 8 On Your Side.

“We have to make sure that we be responsible enough to make sure that its out of, as the old people say, out of harm’s reach,” Baldwin said.


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