Family of boy who shot himself at condo complex speaks out

Orange County deputies say 4-year-old accidentally shot himself in head

Author: Lisa Bell, Reporter, Fill-in anchor, lbell@clickorlando.com
Published On: Mar 20 2013 11:36:52 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 20 2013 11:54:09 PM EDT
Jovan Christian
PINE HILLS, Fla. -

The Orange County family of a four-year-old boy who shot himself in the head Wednesday morning is speaking exclusively to Local 6.

Officials say Jovan Christian remains in critical but stable condition at Arnold Palmer hospital, but his relatives say he is expected to fully recover.

The shooting happened inside the family's apartment at the Los Robles apartment on Silver Star Road in Pine Hills.

Relatives say the gun belongs to the boy's mother, Jennifer Christian, 24, who was once in the Army.

"I didn't hear anything, anything," said Thaicca Rivera, Jovan's aunt.

Rivera and her boyfriend were the only other people in the home at the time of the shooting, but both were asleep.

Related: Cops: Boy, 4, shoots self in head

Rivera, 16, said she had been sick and took two sleeping pills, but woke up to her own coughing around 9:30 Wednesday morning.

That's when she noticed a light on in the room next to hers and made the heartbreaking discovery.

"I was like, 'Can I hold him, can I hold him?' I wanted to hold him just seeing him on the floor like that," said Rivera.

Rivera said her older sister, Jovan's mom, woke her before she left for work.

Rivera admits no one was watching Jovan when he somehow got his hands on his mom's .38 caliber gun that was in her bedroom.

"I'm still like in shock," said Gladys Rivera, Jovan's grandmother.

Gladys was also at work Wednesday morning when she heard the devastating news.

"I just want to lay down, go to sleep and get up and (have) everything back to normal, but it's not going to happen," said Gladys.

The family tells Local 6 the bullet entered and exited on the left side of Jovan's head, but after performing tests late Wednesday night, doctors are hopeful he'll make a full recovery.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the shooting and charges could be pending.

Leaving a firearm unsecured is a second degree misdemeanor and can be punishable by up to 60 days in jail.