A two-year-old boy died after he accidentally shot himself with an unsecured gun while at a family friend’s apartment. The shooting happened at Morning Side apartments.
Authorities said Jayden James Piedra, two, of Jacksonville, Florida, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Saturday after sustaining a gunshot wound earlier in the day.
The shooting was said to have occurred at about 10.16am while Jayden, his mother, and his seven-year-old brother were visiting a family friend.
The child’s mother, Donna Crump-Piedra, told Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson that her son had accidentally shot himself with a gun that wasn’t secured while he and his brother were playing in another room at the family friend’s home.
She will soon have to bury her 2-year-old son.
“I didn’t think that I would lose him today,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without my baby! That’s my best friend! He’s everything to me! Both of my kids are.”
Crump-Piedra said that her seven-year-old son told her that Jayden was bleeding, prompting her to see what had happened.
‘I go look, and I’m not knowing, I’m thinking he probably fell or something,’ Crump-Piedra told the news station, adding that when she turned Jayden around, she noticed that his face was swollen, but at that point she didn’t realize that he gotten hold of a gun.
Crump-Piedra said that she didn’t know whether the gun belonged to the person they were visiting.
Relatives told the newspaper that Jayden’s seven-year-old brother was among the people who detectives interviewed during their investigation into the shooting.
It is unclear if the friend Crump-Piedra and her children were visiting at the time of Jayden’s death will face any charges, as police are said to still be trying to determine who the unsecured gun belonged to.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also urged the public to practice appropriate gun safety measures in tweets informing the public about the incident, stating, ‘Reminder to everyone: Make sure your firearms are secure.’
In an official release about Jayden’s death, police stated that under Florida law, it was necessary for people in possession of a firearm that could be picked up by a child under the age of 16, without a parent’s permission or adult supervision, must put the gun in a securely locked box, use a trigger lock or place it somewhere that ‘a reasonable person would believe to be secure.’
Precious Vorters, who said she was Jayden’s godmother, posted a tribute to the two year old on Facebook Saturday afternoon.
‘Jayden baby boy this hurt go to a whole different level . My heart and everything is hurting,’ Vorters wrote. ‘We had a bond like no other my precious god baby ! I’m losing my mind baby boy ! You didn’t deserve this. I can’t live like this . I feel like god snatched my heart out . This Neva gone stop hurting me . Rip don’t feel right coming out my mouth . Pray for my family please. I’m outta words…’
Toni Barber, Jayden’s other godmother, told News4Jax that the toddler was an active child who was both well-mannered and respectful. She also noted that Crump-Piedra ‘is a good mother’ and ‘not a person to have her children in harm’s way.’
Police said their investigation into Jayden’s shooting was still active and ongoing.