Florida sheriff wants to charge mother accidentally shot by young son

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2016 6:09 PM

By Letitia Stein

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida mother who was accidentally shot and wounded earlier this month by her 4-year-old son while she was driving should be charged with a misdemeanor related to unsafe storage of a firearm, a local sheriff's office said on Tuesday.

The shooting involving 31-year-old Jamie Gilt drew wide attention after local media reported she was a staunch advocate for the right to carry guns, citing her apparent comments on social media. Gilt was shot in the back and later released from a hospital. Her child was unharmed.

Prosecutors will decide whether to move forward with the charge recommended by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, said Captain Joseph Wells, a sheriff's spokesman. Gilt was not arrested, he said.

On the afternoon of March 8, she flagged down an officer for help while stopped on a road in Putnam County, about 70 miles south of Jacksonville.

She said she had been shot by her son who was in the backseat, according to the sheriff's office report. An officer found a small, automatic handgun on the floor behind the driver's seat.

Gilt later told officers she had placed the firearm under the edge of the driver's seat, rather than carry it in a holster, in anticipation of a long drive, the report said.

She thought her son, riding behind her in a booster seat, may have unbuckled himself to pick up a toy and located the handgun, the report said.

Wells said relatives were caring for the child, and the state's child welfare agency had been investigating.

Gilt legally owned the firearm, sheriff's officials have said. Reuters could not immediately reach her for comment.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Peter Cooney)