Great-uncle arrested after 3-year-old boy finds loaded gun, shoots self in Florida, police say

JUPITER INLET COLONY, Fla. — A West Virginia man is facing charges after police said his 3-year-old great-nephew found an unsecured gun and shot himself in a Florida home Sunday.

According to WPEC and WPBF, police in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida, arrested James Lee Romano, 61, on charges of culpable negligence and unsafe firearm storage in connection with the incident, which occurred at a Lighthouse Drive home.

Police said Romano left a loaded 9 mm handgun in an unlocked drawer in the kitchen, the news outlets reported. The toddler discovered the weapon after climbing onto the counter and accidentally shot himself in the hand and thigh, authorities said.

Rescue crews flew the child to a nearby hospital, according to WPBF. Doctors expect him to recover from his injuries, the news outlets reported.

Romano, whose residence is listed as Craigsville, West Virginia, also told police that he smoked marijuana before watching the child, WPEC reported.

Romano was jailed on a $1,000 bond, according to WPBF.

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