A Florida father fatally shot his 5-year-old daughter in the head and critically injured her brother soon after their mother kissed them goodnight in what officials called an “extremely disturbing” domestic incident Monday night.
Emotional Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said their mother was out to dinner and arrived home to give her kids — who were in their bunk beds — a goodnight kiss.
After doing so, the woman went to the bathroom and suddenly heard gunshots, Chronister said.
Assuming that the shots were fired outside her home, the woman ran outside and encountered a neighbor who had already called 911.
The mother then took the phone to describe what she heard when her husband, Jermaine Bass, came out of the home carrying the 8-year-old boy and telling her to call for help.
Deputies rushed to the scene and found the father in the living room still holding the injured boy.
Bass repeatedly told them that he accidentally shot his son, Chronister said.
As they prepared to transport the injured child to Tampa General Hospital, deputies asked him if there was anyone else in the home.
Bass responded that the boy’s sister was sleeping upstairs in the top of the bunk bed she shared with her brother.
“Deputies go upstairs only to make the gruesome discovery that there’s a 5-year-old girl laying in a top bunk, laying in a pool of her own blood,” Chronister said.
She had been shot several times in the head.
Both kids were taken to the hospital, where the girl was pronounced dead. Chronister said her brother, who was also shot in the head, is “fighting for his life.”
Bass was taken into custody and is facing first-degree murder charges.
“You don’t accidentally shoot your children three to four times in the head,” Chronister said.
The grisly discovery left officers shaken.
“We as a sheriff’s office are struggling today,” Chronister said. “Our detectives and deputies were on scene are going to need some help, and we’re bringing some counselors in to try to get them through this gruesome scene that they had to witness and detectives have to work through as they continue to put the pieces of the puzzle together here.”