Mother remains in hospital day after toddler accidentally shoots her in Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A mother remains in the hospital a day after her toddler accidentally shot her in the parking lot of a Fort Lauderdale shopping plaza.

Fort Lauderdale Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene near West Broward Boulevard and Northwest 25th Avenue, just before 2 p.m., Thursday.

“It’s a sad situation for those little babies, no matter if mom is alive and well or not. It’s trauma,” tourist Stephanie Jones said. “My mind immediately goes to gun violence as a whole and making sure that we’re doing something to prevent it. When you hear something like that, it’s really scary, very alarming.”

7News cameras captured the children’s father with the 3-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl in the parking lot of the shopping center.

According to police, the boy, who was with his mother, got a hold of a gun inside of a parked SUV and accidentally shot her. Investigators said the children’s father, who has a conceal carry permit, placed his gun underneath the passenger seat of the SUV while he ran inside a store.

Witnesses said the mother appeared to be shot in the leg, which has since been confirmed by police.

“She looked responsive,” said Anthony Guadagnino, who works near the scene. “On the ground, she seemed responsive to the officers, and they transferred her out of here pretty quick. I can’t even imagine — hopefully, they are not traumatized and they are young enough to not remember, hopefully.”

The mother was transported to Broward Health Medical Center as a trauma alert. She is expected to recover from her injuries.

“Why would they keep a gun around like that? You know, you gotta keep that secure. That’s why they’re trying to do these gun laws and stuff. It’s just sad,” witness David Francis said. “I hope everything turns out all right for them. It’s really tragic that something like this would happen, you know, that you just gotta be more aware of.”

“I have children, and I drive around with them all the time,” witness Solomon Loud said. “I never have a gun within their reach. That’s just crazy. I pray for the mother, and I pray for the family.”

While the mother recovers from her injuries, the kids are in their father’s custody.

“Horrible, I can’t even imagine,” Guadagnino said. “Hopefully they’re not traumatized, and they’re not… they’re dumb enough to not remember, hopefully.”

Police continue to investigate the incident. They have not yet released the identities of those involved and said it’s too early to tell whether or not any charges will be filed against the parents.

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