Uncle being released from jail after 3-year-old nephew fatally shoots himself

3-year-old found Uncle's loaded handgun

TAMPA - Authorities have charged a man with culpable negligence after his 3-year-old nephew shot and killed himself accidentally Tuesday night at the Avesta Apartments in North Tampa.

According to deputies at the Falkenburg jail in Tampa, Jeffrey D. Walker, 29, posted bail and was in the process of being released from jail as of 11:30 Wednesday morning. 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says Speights and Walker shared a bedroom in the apartment with the child's parents.  Deputies say Walker left a 9mm handgun unsecured in a backpack in that room.
 
"Apparently he had laid the backpack down and gone into another room and we believe the child got into the backpack and accidentally shot himself," says Debbie Carter with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
 
The child's parents, Jasmine Bell, 21, and Trentin Speights, 22, were in their bedroom at the time of the shooting.
 
Walker had purchased the gun at a gun shop in the Tampa Bay area and also has a concealed weapons permit.

Carter says this investigation is still ongoing, but that it doesn't appear the parent's will be charged.

"The gun belonged to the uncle and it was up to him to have the gun secured," says Carter.

The Sheriff's Office also confirmed an autopsy was scheduled on the child today.  Walker is expected to make his first appearance in front of a judge Thursday.

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