Detectives with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office believe the shooting of Tyler Maddox, 7, was an unfortunate accident.
His scared grandmother, Linda Maddox, may have been just trying to protect herself inside her Town ‘n’ Country home, according to the agency.
Just before 1 a.m., Linda Maddox heard a sound at her bedroom door she fears is an intruder, deputies said. She told authorities she grabs her .22-caliber revolver and fires a shot into the dark.
Then she heard her grandson screaming. He was hit in the upper body.
He underwent surgery Tuesday and is said to be in serious but stable condition.
As detectives investigate, neighbors on Alta Monte Drive are wondering why Maddox was so afraid in what’s usually a safe and quiet neighborhood.
"I was shocked,” said Mary Ann Adkins to ABC Action News, who lives near the Maddox family. "Because this is a nice neighborhood. I mean I lock my doors, but I never had problems."
"I think she was a little too quick to pull the trigger, said neighbor Jonathan Aristizabal. "But some people are paranoid sometimes."
Paranoid is also the word sheriff’s deputies are using as well, telling ABC Action News that Maddox was scared of a potential intruder before she went to bed, even leaning a chair against her door before she went to sleep.
Deputies said Maddox was extremely distraught after learning what she did.
The Maddox family tells ABC Action News they're asking for the community's prayers right now as Tyler Maddox fights for his life at St Joseph's Hospital.