An 8-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a 1-year-old girl and injured a 2-year-old girl at a Florida motel on Sunday, authorities said.
The boy's father left the gun holstered in his motel room closet at the the Lion's Motel in Pensacola. After he left the room, his son found it, "starts playing with it" and fired a round that passed through and killed the baby and struck the toddler, said Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons during a news conference Monday.
The children who were shot belonged to the girlfriend of the father.
The toddler is expected to recover, Simmons said.
The boy's father returned to the room, took the gun and what investigators believe were drugs and left the room again, Simmons said.
Roderick Dwayne Randall, 45, is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of culpable negligence by storing a firearm within easy of a minor resulting in injuries, tampering with evidence and failure to store a firearm in a required manner.
He was arrested and later released on $41,000 bond.
"We have got to do better with treating our children," Simmons said.
According to data analyzed by advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, so far this year there have been at least 126 unintentional shootings by children in the U.S., resulting in 55 deaths and 78 injuries.
Last year, there were at least 379 unintentional shootings by children nationwide, resulting in 154 deaths and 244 injuries, the group said.
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