NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla.- A 16-year-old North Fort Myers boy suffered a gunshot wound to the hand yesterday, after allegedly playing with a pistol he had stolen from his grandmother. According to his arrest report, the teen initially lied and told Lee County Sheriff's deputies he had been shot in a drive-by.
Deputies responded to the call at Bogart Dr. and Gish Ln. The teen said he was walking with his friend at that location, when an unknown, black male, driving a red car, stopped on the side of the road and aimed a gun at his friend's head. The victim said he slapped the gun away and was shot in the hand in the process. The suspect allegedly fled the scene. Soon after giving the account to deputies, the boys' stories began to change.
The teen was taken to Healthpark for his injury.
Deputies conducted a canvass of the neighborhood, and several people who were home at the time reported never hearing gunfire.
During an interview with a detective at the hospital, the victim came clean, saying he had been playing with the firearm in the bathroom at Farmer Jack's convenience store, located on Laurel Lane, when it discharged. He said he gave the weapon to his friend to hide.
The victim's grandmother had reported her pistol as stolen, and told detectives she believed her grandson may have taken it.
The teen's friend was questioned and eventually told detectives he had hidden the weapon in an air vent in the floor of his brother's bedroom. But a search of his brother's home came back with negative results. His brother, a convicted felon, denied knowing anything about the firearm's whereabouts.
Detectives searched Farmer Jack's convenience store and found a blood-stained napkin in the restroom trash can and a small hole in the wall. A bullet was never found. The victim was seen on surveillance footage, at the register, with an injured hand, asking for napkins.
The juvenile victim was arrested for Grand Theft of a Firearm.