Experts caution parents after accidental shootings

Posted at 7:10 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 19:10:21-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Experts say a series of gun incidents involving children across Lee County this week could have been avoided.

Forty nine year-old Luis Mateo-Mateo remains in jail, Friday, after a shooting investigation on Seminole Court in Fort Myers. According to Fort Myers Police, his 11-year-old son accidentally shot his own mother, early Thursday. She suffered minor injuries.

Mateo-Mateo is facing a Culpable Negligence charge because he left a loaded weapon in a room where multiple children had access. "I have a child, things like that do happen, I don't know," said a neighbor. "But that's scary. They should be put away where kids can't reach it or anything like that."

On Wednesday, a teen in Lehigh Acres was rushed to the hospital after he was accidentally shot in the leg. The incident is still under investigation, and it's not clear how the teens obtained the weapons.

Monday, a 16-year-old student at South Fort Myers High School was arrested for bringing a gun to school in his Chromebook case. It is unknown how the teen acquired the gun, which had it's serial number scratched off.

Jon Dezendorf at Fowler Firearms says the incidents can all be linked back to negligence of the gun owner. "They [children] should never be able to have access to it," he said. "So that means you're either not securing them [guns,] which is the main thing, or when you're shooting, you're not paying attention, turning around, and letting someone else access the firearm."

He tells 4 In Your Corner the only way to truly secure a firearm is to have it in a safe or locked casing. Dezendorf says keeping a weapon on a high shelf, simply is not enough. "Not in my opinion. Children can climb depending upon the age, or God forbid it falls down somehow, someone knocks it down. Anything to that nature needs to be secured properly."

Dezendorf adds you can be liable for a crime committed with your weapon, whether you did it or  not.