BY ASSOCIATED PRESS & SNEJANA FARBEROV FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
Two young children became the victims of gun violence in separate incidents in Florida Sunday.
Investigators on Monday morning announced the arrest of a 16-year-old boy and the uncle of a four-year-old girl, who apparently found a gun under a bed in a Riviera Beach home overnight.
According to police, the firearm discharged while the little girl, identified as Amirra Jacques, was playing with it at around 8.30pm, right before her bathtime. She was rushed to a hospital but died a short time later of a gunshot wound.
The girl’s uncle was in the home at 1280 west 32nd Street when the shooting occurred. Police arrested Nathaniel Lowe, 25, and the teenager. They didn’t explain the teen’s relationship to the child.
Lowe is charged with culpable negligence, tampering with evidence, grand theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.
The 16-year-old boy is charged with culpable negligence, tampering with evidence, perjury and grand theft of a firearm.
According to police, Lowe initially told them that an unknown person entered the home and fired the shot that killed Amirra.
The 25-year-old told police he panicked because as a convicted felon, he could not be in possession of a gun, so he asked the teen to get rid of it.
The firearm was stolen three years prior, according to investigators.
Police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown told the Palm Beach Post that investigators questioned the people in the house on Sunday night. But she added that some people left the home near West Palm Beach right after the shooting.
The 16-year-old suspect allegedly had disposed of the gun that killed the toddler at Lowe’s request, but after being questioned by police he took them to a spot two streets away from the crime scene where the weapon was recovered, reported the station WPTV.
It wasn’t clear whether the teen is going to be charged as an adult.
Lowe is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on a $150,000 bond. His criminal record includes past convictions for attempted burglary, drug possession, vehicle theft, battery and carrying a concealed weapon.
More than 200 miles away, across the state in Tampa, investigators are trying to determine how 17-month-old Amaya Shafi was shot dead, reported ABC Action News.
Tampa police said in a news release that little Amaya sustained a fatal gunshot wound at the Clipper Bay Apartments on South Lois Avenue at about 4.12pm Sunday.
Her parents took her to a hospital, where she died a short time later. She was shot one time with a gun owned by a relative.
Investigators spent Sunday evening interviewing family members to try and piece together what had led to the shooting. As of Monday afternoon, no arrests have been made.