Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, NPPD was called to the 4200 block of Tollefson Avenue for a reported accidental discharge of a firearm in a moving vehicle. A 57-year-old woman reported that her 6-year-old granddaughter got ahold of a firearm in the backseat of the vehicle and accidentally fired a single shot through the driver seat, striking her in the lower back. The weapon was originally located in a holster, tucked in the back pocket of the driver seat, beneath a seat cover.
The grandmother was able to drive home and receive assistance. After calling 911, the grandmother was airlifted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota with non-threatening injuries. Detectives immediately began an investigation. An interview of the child was conducted by those with the Child Protection Center in North Port. All other parties involved were also questioned. At this time, the explanations corroborate an accidental discharge.
“This is an unfortunate example of the importance of gun safety. Please take appropriate measures to make sure children cannot access firearms. This could have been much worse, not only for the grandmother, but for the child. Thankfully, it appears that everyone is going to be okay,” says North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison.
This is an ongoing investigation.