A month after a four-year-old boy, Avion Cymani Weaver, in Auburndale, Florida fatally shot himself in the face, his mother’s live-in boyfriend, 26-year-old Demeko DeSean Robinson, was arrested and charged in connection to the accidental shooting, the ABC Action News reports.
On Friday, January 20, emergency medical services arrived at a home in the 198 Lakeside Hills Loop after receiving a call about needing assistance. Upon arrival, paramedics say Robinson was standing at his front door holding the boy, who was bleeding heavily from his face, with a towel around his head.
The child was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando where staff pronounced him dead at around 11 p.m.
Detectives stated that Robinson initially told them that Avion hit his head on the table and “he was badly injured” until it was discovered that he suffered a gunshot wound to the face.
The Polk County man later changed his story, saying that when he stepped outside of his apartment home to speak with friends, the boy must have found his gun, a 9-mm handgun, hidden in the kitchen and shot himself in the face.
Witnesses corroborated Robinsons’ story, claiming that they saw him standing outside in the parking lot with a group of his friends.
— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) January 24, 2017
Avion was supposed to be inside watching television when Robinson stepped outside the home; however, a witness stated that a short time later, they heard a single “pop.”
Residents reportedly rushed inside of the home and found Avion on the couch, unresponsive with a gunshot wound to his cheek.
The boy’s mother, Deja Perry, was not home during the time of the accidental shooting. She arrived just shortly after 911 was called from her home.
At the time, no one faced any criminal charges in the shooting death of the four-year-old until Thursday, February 23 when Officer Cody Skinner of the Auburndale Police Department arrested Robinson while he was sitting in his vehicle, near his home.
He was charged with “tampering with evidence, possession of an altered firearm, and giving false information to officers.”
Auburndale Deputy Chief Andy Ray stated that they did not know the location of the gun that the child used to allegedly shoot himself. He went on to say that Robinson told investigators that the gun was on the kitchen counter in a box, but they did not find it.
During an investigation, detectives were able to locate the handgun, which was allegedly hidden.
— Lucas Bogg (@LucasBoggPhotog) February 23, 2017
However, that wasn’t the only thing discovered inside the home. Investigators reportedly “found a 22-caliber rifle that that had been shortened to an unlawful length, with serial numbers removed. Because of that, Robinson is also charged with possession of a short-barreled rifle and possession of an altered firearm.”
A Go Fund Me page, which is now closed, was created shortly after the deadly shooting to help pay for Avion’s funeral. The family was able to garner $850 in donations.
Avion was well-known and loved in the community. Towanda Jean-Louis described the boy as being “mature beyond his age.” She went on to say that “he was the neighborhood’s little boy. We all loved him.”
“He shouldn’t have died.”
“The gun should have been locked up, away from him,” Jean-Louis added. “I know mine would have been locked up.”
Following the child’s shooting death, the Department of Children and Families has conducted an internal investigation. It appears DCF previously contacted the boy’s family and investigators visited the home four times after there were “accusations of neglect or drug use in the home.”
It was alleged that Auburndale police notified the Department of Children and Families after Avion’s accidental death, prompting an investigation as “any child death reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline that is suspected to be a result of abuse or neglect.”
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