7-Year-Old Shot by Younger Sibling With Shotgun as Caregiver Slept: Deputies

A 7-year-old in Florida was shot early Thursday morning in what local authorities believe was an incident that resulted from a younger child having access to an unattended shotgun.

Authorities with the Bay County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post they were called to a home in the Southport area shortly before 2 a.m. local time to look into a "medical emergency." When deputies arrived at the home, they said they found a 7-year-old "bleeding on the bathroom floor, being held by a caregiver."

The blood was attributed to a gunshot wound, though authorities did not specify where the wound was located. Emergency medical personnel were called to the scene and arrived "within minutes" to take the victim to a hospital nearby.

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Newsweek reached out to the Bay County Sheriff's Office for comment on the child's condition but did not hear back in time for publication.

According to the Facebook post, a 32-year-old woman identified as Kayla Tully was the caregiver of the child who was shot. Five children in total, all under 10 years old, were at the home when the incident occurred, authorities said.

Deputies said they interviewed Tully to learn more about the events leading up to the incident and were told Tully was asleep on a couch inside the home at the time of the shooting.

"She was awakened by another child telling her that the victim had been shot," deputies said in the post. "Tully stated she did not hear the gunshot."

Deputies wrote that officials with the Bay County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations and Crime Scene units investigated the incident further, as did the Bay County Department of Children and Families.

Based on their findings, "It is believed the 7-year-old was shot by a younger sibling with the unattended gun while Tully slept," deputies said. Authorities did not specify the age of the younger child who was believed to be involved.

Tully told authorities she "regularly" kept a loaded weapon near the back door of the home. Before the child was shot, Tully said a dog inside the home had been barking, and she had placed a 20-gauge shotgun near the home's back door while she went to the front of the house to investigate the cause of the disruption, deputies said. She later fell asleep on the couch and awoke when she learned of the injured child, they added.

Authorities said Tully was arrested and taken to Bay County Jail after the child was transported to a hospital for treatment. Tully has been charged with Cruelty Toward a Child-Aggravated Abuse, four counts of Child Neglect, and Unsafe Storage of a Firearm, according to police.

Shotgun 7-year-old shot
Authorities said Thursday a 7-year-old in Florida was believed to have been shot by a younger sibling who had access to an unattended shotgun. Above, a shotgun is pictured south of Paris, France, in the gendarmerie barracks of Evry-Courcouronnes on July 11, 2020. GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images