TITUSVILLE, Florida — Titusville Police have arrested the parents of the 4-year-old girl who accidentally shot herself last month in Titusville, Florida.
The child remains in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida. She was brought out of a medically induced comma on June 3rd. She is still on medication and unable to talk coherently.
Police say that based on sworn statements from the parents, 37-year-old Leshumbia Stokes and 22-year-old Marie Buskey, the firearm was left on the couch loaded and unattended with the girl.
The parents were in other rooms in the home when the child somehow got the gun and shot herself in the chest with the 9mm handgun. The parents then rushed the child to Parrish Medical Center in Titusville.
According to police, the father immediately left the hospital after dropping off mother and child to get rid of the firearm. Stokes told police he tampered with the evidence because he was afraid of going to jail as a convicted felon. He assured the detectives he would retrieve the gun and surrender the firearm stating he was a “man of his word.”
However, Titusville police say that to date, this has not happened. Police add that the parents have been relatively cooperative with the exception of the recovery of the firearm.
Arrest warrants were obtained and Orange County Deputies arrested Stokes in the conference room at Arnold Palmer Hospital on June 6th. Police say that Stokes was cooperative and helped Orange County Deputies locate Buskey who was also arrested without incident at the hospital in the conference room.
Stokes was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and tampering with evidence.
Buskey was charged with child neglect causing great bodily harm and culpable negligence.
Titusville Police are very concerned about the firearm still being on the street and ask that anyone with information on this case to contact the Titusville Police Department at 321-264-7800 or Crime line at 1-800-423-TIPS.
The Titusville Police Department encourages everyone to keep firearms properly secured. Locks are available at the Police Department at no charge to secure firearms to help protect children from incidents like this one.