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Parents arrested in 4-year-old’s accidental shooting

The parents of a 4-year-old girl are in the Orange County Jail and facing charges of child neglect in the accidental shooting of their daughter.

Leshumbia Stokes and Marie Buskey were in handcuffs and charged with child neglect just hours after their 4-year-old awoke from a coma in at Orlando's Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

The girl had been in a medically induced coma since she accidentally shot herself nearly a month ago in their Titusville home. She woke up on Wednesday.

Titusville police believe the girl's father, Stokes, left a loaded gun on the couch of his Craig Avenue home. They think the girl found the gun and shot herself.

But, detectives waited until Wednesday to arrest the parents because they wanted to make sure they're evidence was in order.

"We wanted to make sure we had all our evidence. We were trying to get statements from the father and so forth and he was somewhat elusive," said Det. Mark Jennings, of the Titusville Police Department.

Stokes also faces a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and evidence tampering.

Detectives haven't recovered the weapon.

"He told us he was a man of his word that he was going to provide us with the gun, but he did not do so as of yet," said Jennings.

Neighbors are still praying for the girl's recovery.

"Her first impression when she came out of the coma of that she sees her parents dragged out of the room," said Marla Taylor. "That's hard to think about."

In a few days, detectives hope to speak with the girl.

"They'll be able to recall a lot more than you think," said Jennings.

Titusville police will eventually have the couple transported to the Brevard County Jail. The Department of Children and Families said a relative has taken custody of the 4-year-old.

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Washington Insider

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