A father in Florida is being charged with murder after deputies found his 5-year-old daughter in a “pool of blood” in their townhome and his 8-year-old is “fighting for his life.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said the incident happened at Armature Gate Townhome in Tampa, Florida on Monday night shortly after the children’s mother returned home from dinner, according to FOX 13.
After the mother tucked her children to sleep, she heard gunshots, the sheriff said.
“While she goes to the bathroom, she heard several gunshots,” Chronister said during a press conference. “She initially thought it happened right outside the residence.”
The sheriff said that the mother then realized that the gunshots came from inside the residence and went outside, where she saw a neighbor on the phone with 911.
“She takes over the phone call and starts talking to her 911 dispatcher,” Chronister said.
Jermaine Lavanda Bass, who was identified as the husband, then came outside while carrying the couple’s 8-year-old son, who officials say he was “cradling” when law enforcement arrived.
Bass, according to Chronister, told deputies that “It was an accident. I don’t know how the gun went off. I accidentally shot my son.”
After deputies asked Bass if anyone else was in the home, the husband said that their 5-year-old daughter was in her room.
The daughter was found in a “pool of blood” by officials after entering her bedroom, Chronister said, adding that the children had 3-4 gunshots to their heads.
“Our 5-year-old victim has been pronounced deceased. Our 8-year-old is fighting for his life,” Chronister said. “The 8-year-old went into surgery.”
Bass faces charges of premeditated murder, aggravated child abuse, and premeditated attempted murder.
The mother is speaking with detectives and providing them with details, Chronister said.