PRESS CONFERENCE — Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood shows members of the press a picture of the firearm a 3-year-old shot himself with Feb. 15.

A 3-year-old boy shot and killed himself with a handgun the night of Feb. 15 near DeLand.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call from a home in Daytona Park Estates at 6:29 p.m.

The first deputy who responded administered CPR, but the child was determined dead before the ambulance arrived, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

Deputies believe the child retrieved the loaded Canik-brand pistol from a nightstand in the parents’ room.

Chitwood said it only took 4.6 pounds of pressure for the child to shoot himself at point-blank range.

According to Chitwood, the boy and his 8-year-old brother were left at home under the supervision of their 16-year-old sister while their parents went grocery shopping.

The children’s father is a state corrections officer at Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach.

At a Feb. 16 press conference, Chitwood explained it would be up to the State Attorney’s Office to decide if any charges will be filed.

“We will as we do with every case, we will investigate it and we will submit it to the State Attorney’s Office to see where and when, and if anything is going to happen,” Chitwood said. “I cannot imagine there’s anything in the law books that can punish that family more than what happened last night.”

Currently, no charges have been filed.

According to Florida law, “when any minor child is accidentally shot by another family member, no arrest shall be made … prior to 7 days after the date of the shooting.”

Chitwood said there was a safe in the home, but it was not working at the time.

He added that the inoperable safe is a focal point of the investigation.

“There is a message here to all parents that own guns: If you’ve got little ones, even if you have teenagers, you got to lock them up,” Chitwood said.

“You want to own guns — go out and do the right goddamn thing,” a clearly frustrated sheriff said. “So we don’t have to deal with another 3-year-old shooting himself.”

The first responders to the scene, dispatchers, and other police personnel involved in the incident are receiving counseling, he added.

The investigation is currently ongoing.


  1. Hi. What became of this story from February where the 3 year old killed himself with an unsecured gun? I can’t find any follow up info.


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