NW Florida boy, 6, dies after accidental shooting

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The young boy was shot in the head about 8:30 p.m. Friday after an unidentified family member discharged a firearm inside the residence.

ZACK McDONALD News Herald Reporter @PCNHzack

MARIANNA — A 6-year-old boy who had been in critical condition for several days after being accidentally shot by a family member has died from his injuries, according to official reports.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday that 6-year-old Ervin Gerard Sims Jr. died from injuries he sustained in an accidental shooting. He was shot in the head about 8:30 p.m. Friday after an unidentified family member discharged a firearm inside their residence at Chipola River Townhouses on Townhouse Drive in Marianna. He was air-lifted to a Pensacola hospital for treatment but died Tuesday, JCSO reported.

Authorities have released few details about the circumstances surrounding Ervin’s shooting, saying only that it has been deemed an accident. The name of the family member involved in the shooting has yet to be released, and any charges directly related to the shooting also have not been announced as JCSO’s investigation proceeds.

As their investigation into the accidental discharge developed, officers determined the boyfriend of the child’s mother, Jaquarius M. White, was a convicted felon. Because he had been residing in the home — where JCSO reported finding several other handguns — he was arrested on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. However, officials reported White was not the person responsible for accidentally shooting Ervin.

Which other family members were in the home at the time of the shooting was unclear Tuesday. The shooting still is pending further investigation, with other charges possible, officials added. More information will be released as the investigation proceeds.

Ervin was the second Jackson County child accidentally shot this month. An 8-year-old girl also suffered a gunshot wound Jan. 7 in what was reported as an accidental discharge.

JCSO reported the earlier shooting happened at a residence off Highway 73 near the Jackson-Calhoun County line. Preliminary findings indicated the shooting was accidental and a result of “negligent discharge,” officials reported.

The girl was transported by Life Flight to a nearby hospital but later was transferred to Pensacola, where she underwent treatment for her injuries and last was listed in stable condition. No charges were announced in that case.

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