TAMPA - A 3-year-old boy died Tuesday night after accidentally shooting himself with his uncle's gun that was unsecured in a backpack, investigators said.
Jeffrey D. Walker, 29, of 13144 N. 22nd St., Apt. 109, faces a charge of culpable negligence, a third-degree felony. He was released from the Hillsborough County Jail on Wednesday after posting $2,000 bond.
Deputies responded about 7:10 p.m. Tuesday to several 911 calls reporting a shooting at the Avesta USF Gardens apartments.
In Apt. 109, deputies found 3-year-old Jadarrius Speights, who had been shot. The boy was taken to nearby Florida Hospital, where he died.
Detectives said Walker, an uncle of Jadarrius, shared a bedroom with the boy and had left an unsecured 9mm handgun in a backpack.
When Walker left the room, the sheriff's office said, Jadarrius got the weapon and accidentally shot himself.
Walker had bought the firearm at a gun shop in the Tampa Bay area and also has a concealed weapons permit.
The child's parents, Jasmine Bell, 21, and Trentin Speights, 22, were in their bedroom at the time of the shooting, deputies said.
After the shooting, the mood at the apartment complex was somber and sad, with more than a dozen neighbors huddling in small groups in the parking lot.