Parents arrested after Titusville child shoots herself

Parents charged with child neglect

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Marie Buskey, 22, and Leshumbia Stokes, 37,

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - The parents of a 4-year-old Titusville girl who accidentally shot herself in the chest with a gun have been jailed in Orange County on neglect charges, according to police.

Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports the pair, Leshumbia Stokes, 37, and Marie Buskey, 22, were taken into custody Wednesday after warrants were issued for their arrests in connection with the May 12 shooting at their Titusville home.

Stokes was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and tampering with evidence, records show.

The mother was charged with child neglect causing great bodily harm and culpable negligence, records show.

Both were arrested at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando and were expected to be extradited from the Orange County Jail to Brevard County to face the charges.

The child, who Titusville police said found a 9mm handgun left in the house and shot herself in the chest, was brought out of a medically induced coma Sunday by doctors.

However, police say the child is unable to speak coherently and remains heavily medicated because of her injuries.

Police said the handgun was left on a couch at the home while both parents were in other rooms.

The child found the weapon and accidentally fired a round. The parents rushed the girl to Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, but police said Stokes, who is a convicted felon, left the hospital to return home and dispose of the handgun before investigators arrived.

Stokes later told detectives that he moved the weapon because he was afraid to go to jail and added that he would surrender the gun to detectives. The gun, however, has not been recovered, police add.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 321-264-7800 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS.

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