7-year-old girl wounded after gun left on couch, police say

Boynton Beach father arrested, accused of child neglect

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

Travonte Leslie, 45, faces a charge of child neglect.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A 7-year-old girl was wounded Friday morning in Boynton Beach after her father left his handgun on a couch while he went to the store, authorities said.

Boyton Beach police said the father, Travonte Leslie, 45, left his handgun unsecured in the house with several children inside. It's unclear how the gun went off, but Leslie told detectives that he believes one of his other children may have accidentally fired the weapon.

Police said Leslie "freaked out" and briefly left the scene after the shooting, but decided to return and speak with officers.

"If someone is going to get in trouble for this, let it be me. I left the gun underneath the couch cushion while I was at the store," Leslie told officers, according to the arrest report.

Leslie was arrested Friday. He faces a charge of child neglect. 

The girl, who was shot in the left arm, will have to undergo surgery, the report said.

The Boynton Beach Police Department used the case to remind gun owners to properly secure firearms in a safe location inside their home out of a child's reach at all times. They also encouraged parents to talk to their children about gun safety. 

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