Guns

6-Year-Old Hurts Himself With Father's Gun

| by Sheena Vasani
Ballast Point ParkBallast Point Park

A 6-year-old boy in Tampa, Florida, injured himself slightly after stumbling upon a gun in a diaper bag and firing it on Feb. 21.

Officials say his father Ricardo Candelario Marquez, 36, was at a park with his son when he placed his gun inside his girlfriend’s diaper bag, WFLA reports.

Leaving the bag unattended, he walked over to the fishing pier. That's when his son found the firearm.

The boy discharged one round after finding the gun. When he discovered what his son had done, Marquez tried to throw the gun into the nearby Tampa Bay.

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Although the boy did have a small lip abrasion from the recoil, he is now fine.

While the park was busy, officials report nobody was seriously injured.

“Sunday is one of the busiest days of the week for us, so it was very odd to see the commotion. It’s a safe place. There are kids. I don’t know what happened. We were all very surprised,” Nei Martins, who works at the Taste of Boston restaurant in Ballast Point Park, told WFLA.

The shot particularly frightened a group of young girls nearby.

“All of a sudden we heard a big boom,” described 9-year-old Bella Villa, who was at the park with friends. “I thought it was a gun and then all of us started freaking out and we didn’t really know what to do.”

“It’s a pretty traumatic thing that happened to them and I don’t know how by the grace of God, thank God no one got hurt,” said her mother, Julie Villa, who rushed to the park when she found out what happened.

“You think a park is safe and where you can go and these girls were innocent in a park doing positive things and for something like this to happen is just a tragedy,” she added.

Although Marquez has a concealed weapons permit, police arrested him on a felony charge of culpable negligence. He is also charged with trying to tamper with physical evidence.

Tampa Bay reports Marquez is in jail in lieu of $20,000 bail, reports Tampa Bay Times. He has no previous criminal history.

Sources: WFLA, Tampa Bay Times / Photo credit: WFLA

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