Toddler Accidentally Shot Relative, 2 Arrested for Tampering with Evidence and gave False Narrative to Police in Florida

Gainesville, FL: Authorities in Gainesville, Florida have announced that two members of a family are facing charges for allegedly concealing the death of a relative. The tragic incident occurred when a 2-year-old accidentally shot the victim.

According to a previous press release by the police, it was reported that Bernard Carter III entered a family member’s apartment in Gainesville on March 24 after being shot. Carter succumbed to his injuries several days after the incident.

In a press release issued on Thursday, it was revealed that authorities discovered a concerning situation involving a toddler who had easy access to an unsecured handgun on the day of the incident. Authorities reported that the young child unintentionally discharged the firearm, resulting in Carter being injured.

According to the release, the victim’s mother, Lawanda Wade, 50, and his brother, Quante Whitaker, 29, were aware of the shooting but decided to conceal it and provided misleading information to investigators for several weeks.

Wade and Whitaker have been charged with serious offenses, including tampering with a witness and child abuse. Whitaker is also facing additional charges of tampering with evidence and perjury during an official proceeding, as stated in the release.

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As per Wade’s arrest report, family members initially informed the responding officers that Carter had been shot in a different location before entering the apartment.

According to the Alachua Chronicle, the responding officers encountered uncooperative behavior from the family, who refused to allow them to search the apartment. According to the police, Whitaker was accused of making multiple false statements and contradicting himself throughout the investigation.

An 8-year-old who was present during the incident provided officials with a revised account of the events that occurred that night. Initially, the child stated that Carter had been shot by an individual wearing a mask. However, the child later acknowledged that Carter had actually been shot in his bedroom while the 2-year-old was present as reported by the local news outlet Alachua Chronicle.

According to the Alachua Chronicle report, it is believed that Whitaker concealed the gun in the kitchen after retrieving it from Carter’s room following the shooting.

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