Cops: Fla. woman who shot grandson likely won't face charges

CBS News

TAMPA, Fla. - Authorities say the Tampa woman who shot her 7-year-old grandson after mistaking him for an intruder probably won't face charges.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials told the Tampa Bay Times the Tuesday shooting has been labeled an accident. But an investigation is ongoing.

Linda Maddox, 63, told deputies she was on high alert because her son was working late and she was alone with her twin grandsons.

Officials say the woman had placed a chair against the bedroom door where she was sleeping with her grandsons. Around 1 a.m., she heard the chair scraping against the floor, grabbed a pistol and fired once, striking Tyler Maddox in the upper body. He was in critical but stable condition at a hospital.

"She thought there was an intruder. She had no way of knowing [it] was only her grandson, so I think the decision not to press charges is justified," Tampa criminal defense lawyer Bryant Camareno - who is not connected to the case - told the Times. "The fact that she just fired into the darkness, that in and of itself is not a crime."

The paper reports there was also no crime in Maddox's leaving the loaded .22-caliber pistol within reach of her grandkids. In Florida, adults can only be charged with culpable negligence for storing a loaded gun near children if a minor uses it to hurt himself or someone else.

The Department of Children and Families say the children remain in the custody of their father.