Florida Teenager Accidentally Shoots 2-Year-Old Boy Dead, Police Say

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of accidentally shooting a 2-year-old boy in Florida.

The 16-year-old boy is facing a charge of manslaughter with a firearm after 2-year-old Brayden Howard was killed at a mobile home in Cocoa on the morning of December 14.

According to the Cocoa Police Department, the teenager went to 1671 Owosso Street in the Sunrise Village mobile home community with several friends. The teens had brought at least two firearms to the home, where they stayed often.

After interviewing the eyewitnesses, police said the teenager had been sleeping on an air mattress and woke to find the toddler handling a revolver that was lying on the mattress.

The teenager grabbed the revolver from Brayden and checked to see if the gun was loaded.

The 16-year-old, who was unfamiliar with the handling of a revolver, believed the weapon was not loaded and ended up firing it, striking the toddler.

Police said they do not believe the child was killed on purpose.

"All of the evidence and witness statements indicate the shooting was not intentional," Detective Anthony Colombo said in a statement. "He was extremely emotional and remorseful."

Police said that after the shooting, the toddler ran towards his mother who began screaming for help.

Neighbor Mark Barclay said he came outside when he heard the commotion on Monday morning.

"First thing I heard was all the screaming and I saw the baby laying on the ground and the mother screaming and yelling with blood all over her," Barclay told Click Orlando.

A police officer arrived and performed CPR on Brayden. The young boy was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police previously confirmed that the teenager and the toddler are not related.

The 16-year-old is being turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice where he will be held for a minimum of 21 days while the State Attorney's Office determines how to proceed with prosecution.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, 278 children under the age of 12 have been killed by firearms in the U.S. this year, with a further 662 injured.

Another 1,003 children between 12 and 17 were killed as a result of gun violence this year, and 2,931 in this age group were injured.

Police tape at the scene of a shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, on August 27, 2018. A 16-year-old boy has been arrested after a 2-year-old was shot dead in Cocoa. Joe Raedle/Getty