2 arrested after toddler finds gun, shoots 2-year-old sister in Polk County, deputies say

Man hid gun in couch to keep away from children

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A 2-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot by her 3-year-old brother Friday evening, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a news conference that three men were together watching a NBA playoff game when they heard a gunshot just before midnight.

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Two of the men, 23-year-old Kevonte’ Wilson and 23-year-old Rodderick Haynes, told deputies that they rushed to get the girl to a hospital, but were involved in a crash along the way.

“It’s just a blessing because it was a significant crash that they all didn’t suffer more injuries,” Judd said.

Deputies said the gun belonged to Wilson. Judd said he stuffed it in the couch cushions “to keep it away from the children.”

“He was a baby playing with what he thought was some sort of toy,” the sheriff said.

Judd said the hospital determined the girl was shot in the chest and in critical condition. The girl suffered severe injuries to her internal organs, deputies said.

Wilson was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and failure to safely store a firearm. His prior criminal history includes charges of grand theft, written threats to kill, defrauding an innkeeper, and driving with no valid license.

Deputies also took into custody Chad Berrien, who was arrested on four outstanding warrants for failure to appear for battery, failure to appear for resisting without violence, failure to appear for DWLSR, and failure to appear for driving on revoked/suspended license).

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.