COCOA, Fla. – A 2-year-old was shot and killed Monday at a home in Cocoa, police said.
The fatal shooting was reported around 7:30 a.m. on Owosso Street in the Sunrise Village mobile home community.
Cocoa police said dispatchers received a call from a neighbor who reported someone was screaming and holding a small child who had been shot.
Officers arrived at the home and attempted life-saving measures before the boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to witnesses, several teenage boys were at the home visiting a friend and one of them was “actively displaying a firearm when it discharged,” police said. The toddler was struck by a bullet.
An officer at the scene reported the shooter was a 15-year-old male who was playing with a firearm and he fled the area after it fired.
Neighbor Mark Barclay said he came outside to see what was going on.
“First thing I heard was all the screaming and I saw the baby laying on the ground and the mother screaming and yelling with blood all over her,” Barclay said.
Police do not believe the shooting was intentional.
“He was actively engaging with the firearm when it discharged and struck the child. All of the male juveniles fled the house,” Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said.
Police said they tracked down some of the teenagers but not the shooter.
While police believe the shooting was accidental, the boy with the gun could still be in a lot of trouble.
That will depend on the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing as a mother grieves the loss of a child.
“We would certainly like the person who had the firearm to come forward,” Martinez said. “If this was an accidental incident, there are ways to deal with that that we can mitigate.”
Police said the shooter and the 2-year-old victim are not related.