A 14-year-old boy is in critical condition after being shot in the neck at a southeast Ocala residence on Monday afternoon.
According to the Ocala Police Department, officers responded to the Shadow Oaks Mobile Home Park (3120 SE 10th Avenue) at around 1 p.m. due to reports that a teenager had apparently shot himself in the neck.
When the first officer arrived on scene, a resident outside the trailer flagged down the patrol vehicle and advised the officer that the teenager was lying down on the living room floor inside a nearby home. Two adult females were tending to the teenager’s injury and were actively applying chest compressions.
The officer entered the home and took over the chest compressions. After a few minutes, the teenager began to take shallow breaths and looked around. Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene, took over medical treatment, and trauma-alerted him to a local hospital.
The teenager is in critical condition.
Detectives are actively investigating this incident and have indicated that the shooting appears to have been accidental. Prior to the shooting, two teenage boys, who were friends, were inside the home. The teenager who apparently shot himself was a neighbor and did not live at the home where the shooting occurred.
The gun was inside the parent’s bedroom dresser. The victim found it and apparently shot himself in the neck by accident, according to the police department. No adults were inside the home when the shooting took place. The gun owner, who is the other teenager’s parent, was away at work.
The shooting incident remains under investigation.
The Ocala Police Department would like to generally remind gun owners that talking to their kids about gun safety is an essential first step, but it is not the only step. Anyone who owns a gun should always store it properly. A properly stored gun could prevent suicides, accidental shootings, and even murders.