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Port St. Lucie police arrest man in connection with toddler's shooting

Police: 2-year-old child shot himself in head with unsecured gun
crime scene van outside scene where 2-year-old shot in head in Port St. Lucie
Posted at 2:40 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 17:13:08-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie police have arrested a man after authorities say a 2-year-old child shot himself in the head earlier this month.

Police and the U.S. Marshals Task Force took Mohammad Akib Faiyaz, 21, into custody on Monday in Palm Beach County on charges of culpable negligence and carrying a concealed weapon without a license.

According to Assistant Police Chief Richard Del Toro, the child's mother had met Faiyaz on a social media dating site a week before the shooting.

The mother invited Faiyaz to her home at the Evergreen Condominium Complex, located in the 1600 block of Southeast Green Acres Circle, on the night of June 11.

At some point, Faiyaz took a gun out of his waistband and put it on a table in the living room, police said. The child's mother told Faiyaz to get the weapon out of her home.

"Short time later, the victim's mother left the room and heard a gunshot," Del Toro said.

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Port St. Lucie police arrest man in connection with toddler's shooting

According to Del Toro, the 2-year-old child was able to grab the gun and accidentally shoot himself in the head.

"He did get access to the weapon, and unfortunately was able to discharge the weapon. Self-inflicted gunshot wound," Del Toro said.

Faiyaz took the toddler and his mother to St. Lucie Medical Center, then left the area without talking to police. The child was later transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

"As of today, the 2-year-old victim is alert, conscious, and will begin therapy this week," Del Toro said. "The long-term prognosis, though, is still unclear."

Del Toro said another child was inside the home at the time of the shooting, but was not hurt.

Police have not yet found the weapon used in the shooting.

"We want to learn more about the weapon, [Faiyaz's] access to it," Del Toro said. "He was negligent, from what we were understanding, leaving that weapon where someone else could access it."