• Search

Corrections Officer’s 3 Year Old Fatally Shoots Himself After Finding Gun In Nightstand

DeLand, FL – A Florida corrections officer’s three-year-old son fatally shot himself in the face on Wednesday after finding a gun inside a nightstand in his family’s home, according to the sheriff.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood provided details about the tragic incident during a press conference on Thursday, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

The deadly shooting occurred east of DeLand at a residence on Nectarine Drive in the Daytona Park Estates at approximately 6:22 p.m. on Feb. 15, Sheriff Chitwood said.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) received a 911 call from the frantic 16-year-old daughter of a Tomoka Correctional Institution corrections officer who told the dispatcher that her three-year-old brother had just shot himself, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

An audio recording of the call was released on Thursday, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“My little brother shot himself!” the distraught teen told the dispatcher as she wept and struggled to breathe. “My parents were at the store and I was watching them and I was in my room… and my little brother shot himself in the head!”

A deputy rushed to the scene and began administering CPR, but the child’s injuries were too severe, Sheriff Chitwood said.

The boy was subsequently transported to AdventHealth DeLand, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives determined 16-year-old had been left in charge of her three-year-old and seven-year-old brothers while their parents ran to the grocery store, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

“Somehow, we don’t know exactly how, but the little guy got into the bedroom, got into the drawer, and discharged the firearm once,” Sheriff Chitwood said.

Investigators determined the little boy was holding the Canik 9mm handgun to his face when he fired the weapon, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

“Clearly, you have to say it, this should never have happened,” Sheriff Chitwood said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “This should not have happened. We should not be standing here having this conversation.”

Sheriff Chitwood said investigators located an inoperable safe inside the residence, as well as a Glock handgun lying on top of the refrigerator.

He said the Department of Children and Families has been notified about the incident and that the agency is now exercising parental supervision with the seven-year-old and 16-year-old, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

It is unclear whether any charges will be filed and no arrests were immediately made.

“We will investigate it and we will submit it to the State Attorney’s Office to see where and when if anything is going to happen,” Sheriff Chitwood told reporters.

“I cannot imagine there is anything in the law books that can punish that family more than what happened last night,” the sheriff added.

He said he is also concerned about the mental health of the dispatchers and first responders who handled the call, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The shooting will be “career-altering and life-altering” for many of them, Sheriff Chitwood said.

“My concern is for their health and welfare,” he said. “This was not easy.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."