Mother faces charges after 2-year-old shot in foot in Altamonte Springs, police say

Ashley Johnson, 31, faces charges of culpable negligence

Ashley Johnson (Altamonte Springs Police Department)

ALTMAMONTA SPRINGS, Fla. – A mother faces charges after her 2-year-old son was shot in the foot, according to the Altamonte Springs Police Department.

Police said they responded to the Altamonte Terrace Apartments on Sept. 7 around 11:31 a.m. in reference to a man who called 911 to report a 2-year-old who “cut their foot.”

The responding officer said when they arrived at the scene, the fire department already left and there was no activity.

According to an arrest report, at 1 p.m., the police department was told that the 2-year-old was transported to a local hospital after they discovered the wound was the result of a gunshot.

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Police said after learning about the gunshot wound, they returned to the apartment where they found that the door was unlocked. An officer saw blood drops scattered throughout the apartment, which trailed outside to the front door.

According to the report, police cleared the apartment and secured and taped off the scene for a potential search warrant.

Police responded to the hospital where they met the child and the child’s mother, identified as 31-year-old Ashley Johnson. According to the report, hospital staff said that Johnson “appeared to be intoxicated” and she was “falling in and out of sleep.”

A responding officer said Johnson was very lethargic and if asked a question, she would answer and go back to sleep.

A social worker who was with the child and the mother at the hospital said Johnson and the child were the only two people in the apartment at the time of the incident. Johnson said she was sitting in her room with the child when “her handgun which was in her black crossbody bag, which was near her, went off by itself,” hitting the child in the foot.

When interviewed, Johnson told officers that on the evening of Sept. 6, Johnson, her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend and her 2-year-old were walking back to their apartment after leaving a nearby restaurant.

According to the report, Johnson said they took a shortcut through a wooded area and she carried a purple handgun in a crossbody bag because the trail where they walked is sometimes “populated with bad people.”

She told police that she reached into the bag to turn off the gun’s safety as they walked through the trail.

Johnson stated that the next morning, it was only her and the child in the apartment, and she woke up around 9:30 a.m. She told police that around 11-11:30 a.m., she left the bag with the gun inside of it on her bed, covered it with a blanket and took a shower.

According to the report, while in the shower, Johnson heard a loud bang, followed by the child screaming.

When Johnson exited the shower, she told officers that she noticed blood coming from his foot and she tried to comfort the child. She picked him up along with the blanket and noticed her handgun hit the floor.

She told police she ran outside and yelled for someone to call for an ambulance, went back inside and placed the gun on the top shelf of her closet.

Medical staff told officers that the bullet traveled through the child’s third toe and all the way through his foot, and penetrated out the back of his heel. They advised that the child had broken bones in his foot, as well as metal fragments inside.

According to the report, when police obtained the search warrant, they searched the apartment and were unable to locate the firearm. Johnson told police that she thinks “someone might have burglarized her residence, due to her yelling out while on the scene that the firearm was inside the residence.”

Police said they had concerns about the storage of the gun, the fact that it was purple and could be enticing to a juvenile and it was in a “ready position” with a round in the chamber and the safety off.

Johnson was arrested and faces charges of culpable negligence. She was transported to the Seminole County jail.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.