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St. Pete police: 2-year-old boy dies after father shoots him during argument with parents

After the toddler was shot, Aaron Creary tried to drive him to the hospital but lost control of the car.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A 2-year-old boy died after his father shot him during an argument with his parents at their family home, according to St. Petersburg police.

Aaron Creary, 22, is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and violation of probation, the department said in a Monday morning update.

Police say the father lived with his son, Armani Creary, at his parents' house off 15th Avenue South. Officers arrived at the home just after 8 p.m. Sunday after receiving a report of the child shot, the police department said.

"I got my little girl at home asking me, 'Where's 'Mani,'" Armani's mother, Makayla Steele, said. Armani is a twin, he leaves behind his sister, Aubrianna.

At some point, Aaron Creary reportedly got into an argument with his parents and pulled out a gun. When he fired the weapon, it struck his son, police said.

After the toddler was shot, Aaron Creary tried to drive him to the hospital but lost control of the car on 34th Street South at 15th Avenue South and crashed in the parking lot of a closed business, authorities said.

Surveillance video shared to 10 Tampa Bay shows a black car speeding into an auto center parking lot and crashing into a silver car. The driver of the black car is seen in the video exiting the vehicle and carrying a small child. 

Later in the video, crowds of people formed and it appeared they were trying to help. Then a fire truck, two police cars and ambulance trucks arrive to attempt to save the small child's life. 

"If I had to pick an emotion right now — I'm angry," Steele said in an emotional interview less than 24 hours after her son died. 

Steele believes the shooting was an accident, and is fully supporting the father of her children. 

"That man loved them," Steele said. "He would never ever put them in harm's way."

Police say they were able to take the boy to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

His family described Armani as energetic, lighting up every room he entered. His mom highlighted his love for good food, giggling as she talked about how he enjoyed snacking on some chicken. 

Aaron Creary had a hearing Monday morning where his bond was set at $750,000, court documents show.

Family members tell us a viewing will be held this Saturday and a funeral will be held the following weekend. 

10 Tampa Bay's Leo Santos contributed to this report.

Malique Rankin is a general assignment reporter with 10 Tampa Bay. You can email her story ideas at mrankin@10tampabay.com and follow her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 

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