PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriffs’ Major Crimes Unit’s Lt. Michael Casarella commented briefly Monday on the investigation of the 3-year-old boy who died Sunday of a gunshot wound from an unsecured weapon in his home on Hubbard Avenue in Port Charlotte.
Lt. Casarella states that it was protocol to obtain a search warrant to enter the home to further investigate and collect evidence Sunday morning. He said the handgun was a semi-automatic and was legally owned.
Lt. Casarella said, “Both parents are cooperating in their investigation.”
Lt. Casarella emphasized again saying once their investigation is completed they are required to send the case package to the State Attorney’s Office in Punta Gorda in the death of a minor. The SAO will review all of the evidence to determine if there was culpable negligence. Lt. Casarella declined to reveal any further specific details, including names, as it remains an open and active investigation.
Concerning gun safety in the home, Lt. Casarella said, “Everyone has the right to own a firearm. Under State Statues, it is mandatory that you secure a firearm in a home with children. I cannot stress enough that it is an inherent responsibility when owning a firearm. When you buy a firearm, you should also buy a safe to house it in.”