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Seven-year-old boy fatally shot in head by stray bullet amid altercation over jet skis

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

(TAMPA, Fla.) — A 7-year-old bystander was fatally shot in the head by a stray bullet amid an altercation over jet skis on the July 4 holiday, according to Tampa, Florida, police.


When the gunfire broke out near a boat ramp, the 7-year-old boy’s grandfather pulled him into a truck to take cover, but the boy was still shot in the head and the grandfather was shot in the finger, Tampa police Deputy Chief Calvin Johnson said at a news conference Wednesday.

It appears the boy and his grandfather were shot by the same bullet, Johnson said. The grandfather’s injuries were non-life-threatening.

Johnson said the shooter was “careless” with a gun and let “anger take over.”

“One group was mad because the second group was riding their jet skis too close to the shore,” Johnson said, adding “that confrontation led to gunfire.”

No arrests have been made and police are urging anyone with information to come forward.

To the shooter, Johnson said, “Turn yourself in. … Just imagine if that was your child that was killed over this.”

“I’m very angry,” Johnson said, calling the shooting “senseless.”

“We need to do better as a community, really, as Americans,” Johnson said. “There’s a better way to deal with anything you may be going through, other than going to that firearm.”

“Our thoughts are with the family of this innocent child,” Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said in a statement. “Our detectives will work tirelessly until all those involved are identified and arrested.”

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