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Police: Mother arrested after 4-year-old shot self with gun

TAMPA, Fla. -- A 4-year-old boy shot in the chest in Tampa Tuesday morning apparently pulled the trigger himself by accident, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

He is expected to survive.

The sheriff's office updated the story Tuesday night. Akia Thomas, the boyfriend of the child's mother, was initially suspected of shooting the boy. The mother was not home at the time of the incident.

Detectives arrested the mother, 26-year-old Delicia D. Forte, after an arrest warrant was issued Tuesday, April 4.

Forte has been charged with aggravated child neglect resulting in serious injury. She was sent to Orient Road Jail and the children have all been moved into foster care.

The shooting happened around 8:30 a.m. in the 12000 block of Tinsley Circle at the Key Vista apartment complex. The sheriff's office executed a search warrant at the residence after the shooting and a found the Taurus .380 handgun that the child apparently found underneath a dresser, as well as a bag of white powder that later tested positive for cocaine.

Thomas was arrested on charges of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, unsafe storage of a firearm and possession of cocaine.

Police say the mother was taking the victim’s 1-year-old sibling to day care. The child’s other sibling was at school. The 4-year-old was home with Thomas.

The child was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and is said to be in stable condition.

The latest gun victim comes days after a Polk 4-year-old, Avion Cymani Weaver, died from an accidental shooting over the weekend.

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