Tampa 4-year-old dies after gun discharges, prosecutors weighing charges

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s up to state prosecutors to decide if anyone should be charged after a 4-year-old boy shot and killed himself inside a Tampa home.

Officers were called to the home on Hanna Avenue Sunday night.

Police tell News Channel 8 the boy got a hold of a gun and fired it.

He was struck by a bullet and rushed to Tampa General Hospital, where he died.

“Based on our preliminary investigation, this tragic incident is being investigated as a tragic shooting at this time,” said police spokeswoman Janelle McGregor.

Investigators say Ashton Gooding lived at the home with his parents. They won’t reveal where he found the gun or who it belongs to.

The State Attorney’s Office must determine if charges should be filed if the gun wasn’t properly stored.

“A lot of people think that no one’s ever going to find that gun and they have the best intentions and it’s super sad to have this type of tragedy happen,” said Karen Buckenheimer, executive director of More Health, Inc.

More Health teaches kids about firearm safety and other issues.

Buckenheimer reminds people to keep guns unloaded and locked away at all times. Education is also key.

“We want children to know what to do if they find a gun in the community,” she said. “And we want parents to make sure they reinforce those messages at home and they, too, follow safety steps for firearms.”

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