Arrests Made In Titusville Girl’s Shooting
By Space Coast Daily // June 7, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – Parents of a 4-year-old girl shot in the chest in Titusville on May 12 have been arrested in Orlando as the girl continues to recover from her wounds.
The girl’s father, Leshumbia Stokes, 37, was charged by police with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and tampering with evidence.
The mother, Marie Buskey, 22, was charged with child neglect causing great bodily harm and culpable negligence.
Staff at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville notified police when the parents brought the child to the emergency room for treatment of a gunshot wound from a 9mm firearm sustained at their home at 1605 Craig Avenue.
Soon after arriving at Parrish Medical Center, Stokes admittedly left the hospital after dropping off mother and child to get rid of the firearm.
He told investigators he got rid of the gun because he was afraid of going to jail as a convicted felon.
Stokes assured detectives he would retrieve the gun and surrender the firearm stating he was a “man of his word,” but did not do so before his arrest.
The parents told investigators in sworn statements that they were in other rooms in the home when the child somehow got a hold of the gun and shot herself in the chest.
The girl was subsequently transferred to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando where she remains in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit after being brought out of a medically induced coma Sunday.
Doctors at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital say the 3-year-old is on medication and unable to talk coherently.
Stokes was arrested at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital by Orange County Sheriff’s detectives and then led deputies to the whereabouts of Buskey, who was also arrested.
Titusville Police Cpl. Det. Gary Boyer said shootings like this might be avoided if parents were more cautious with firearms.
“We encourage everyone to keep firearms properly secured and we have locks at the police department available at no charge to secure firearms and help protect your children from incidents like this one,’ Boyer said.
He said police are still looking for the weapon involved in the shooting.
“We are very concerned about the firearm still being on the street and ask that anyone with information on this case to contact the Titusville Police Department at 321-264-7800 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS,” Boyer said.