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Florida dad charged with murder after 5-year-old found in ‘pool of blood’; 2nd child fighting for life


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A Florida father is charged with murder after deputies found his 5-year-old daughter in a ‘pool of blood’ in their townhouse and his 8-year-old son is ‘fighting for his life’.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said the incident happened at Armature Gate Townhome in Tampa, Fla., on Monday night, shortly after the children’s mother returned from dinner, according to FOX. 13.

After the mother put her children down to sleep, she heard gunshots, the sheriff said.

“As she was going to the bathroom, she heard several gunshots,” Chronister said at a press conference. “She first thought it happened right outside the residence.”

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A Florida father is charged with murder after deputies found his 5-year-old daughter in a ‘pool of blood’ in their townhouse and his 8-year-old son is ‘fighting for his life’.
(FOX 13)

The sheriff said the mother then realized the shots were coming from inside the residence and went outside, where she saw a neighbor on the phone with 911.

“She takes the phone call and starts talking to her 911 dispatcher,” Chronister said.

Jermaine Lavanda Bass, who was identified as the husband, then walked out carrying the couple’s 8-year-old son, whom officials say he was “cradling” when law enforcement arrived.

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Jermaine Lavanda Bass

Jermaine Lavanda Bass
(FOX 13)

Bass, according to Chronister, told deputies “It was an accident. I don’t know how the gun went off. I accidentally shot my son.”

After deputies asked Bass if anyone else was in the house, the husband said their 5-year-old daughter was in her room.

The girl was found in a “pool of blood” by officials after entering her bedroom, Chronister said, adding that the children had been shot 3 to 4 times in the head.

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“Our 5-year-old victim has been pronounced dead. Our 8-year-old is fighting for his life,” Chronister said. “The 8-year-old boy had surgery.”

Bass faces charges of premeditated murder, aggravated child abuse and attempted premeditated murder.

The mother speaks with detectives and provides them with details, Chronister said.


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