Crime

7-year-old Florida girl finds a gun under a couch cushion — and takes a bullet

Travonte Leslie, 25, was charged with child neglect with great bodily harm after a 7-year-old girl was shot in the arm with a gun he left under a couch cushion in a Boynton Beach home on Oct. 26, 2018.
Travonte Leslie, 25, was charged with child neglect with great bodily harm after a 7-year-old girl was shot in the arm with a gun he left under a couch cushion in a Boynton Beach home on Oct. 26, 2018. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

A South Florida man was sitting outside his girlfriend’s house when he heard a gun go off inside.

A 7-year-old girl had been shot in the forearm with a gun he had tucked underneath a couch cushion in the living room.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office charged Travonte Leslie, 25, with neglecting a child with great bodily harm. He’s being held at West Palm Beach’s Main Detention Center with no bond.

According to WPTV, Leslie left the loaded Glock 23 underneath the couch cushion Friday when he went to a store and then returned and sat outside the home, which was occupied by three children, ages 4, 5 and 7, and their mother, Leslie’s girlfriend.

After he heard the shot, the Boynton Beach man put the gun in the bedroom once police were called, then drove off, but returned to the house to speak to officers.

“If someone is going to get in trouble for this, let it be me. I left the gun underneath the couch cushion while I was at the store,” he told investigators, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Leslie said he had put the loaded gun under the cushion Thursday night when he slept on the couch but put an empty magazine in the gun before putting it back under the cushion Friday afternoon, The Associated Press reported.

It’s not clear whether the 7-year-old shot herself in the forearm or if one of the other children found and used the weapon. The mother told police she was in the bathroom and didn’t see the shooting.

The girl underwent surgery for a broken arm at Delray Medical Center, according to WPTV.

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