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Man accused of accidental shooting of 12-year-old

He told deputies he was trying to disassemble a gun, and believed it wasn't loading when checking the trigger.
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff

BRANDON, Fla — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of a man accused of shooting a child accidentally.

The investigation started March 13 when deputies were called to Brandon Regional Hospital following reports of a 12-year-old child with a gunshot wound to the torso.

Due to the severity of his injuries, the juvenile was transfered to Tampa General Hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.

Deputies said upon learning new information, they arrested 28-year-old Anthony Rodriguez who was caring for the child at the time.

Rodriguez told deputies he was disassembling a gun while watching the child and believed the weapon was empty when he pulled the trigger.

On Tuesday April 14, deputies arrested Rodriguez and charged him with child neglect causing great bodily harm.

Sheriff Chad Chronister gave a statement in a release sent to 10 News saying, “During this stressful time and with children spending more time at home, I think it’s extremely important that we don’t lose perspective on safety. This very unfortunate incident was completely preventable. It should serve as a reminder to all of us with firearms in the home to take extra precautions when cleaning, unloading and storing weapons."

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