- Associated Press - Friday, April 10, 2020

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man was arrested after his girlfriend’s 3-year-old child found a loaded gun in a nightstand drawer Wednesday night and shot himself in the hand, sheriff’s officials said.

The mother told Palm Beach County Sheriff’s detectives she head a loud bang and found the boy in the bedroom with a bloodied had. He was standing next to a gun, according to an arrest report.

Juan Gomes Quintero, 21, told Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigators he had been cleaning the .40-caliber Springfield and left it in the drawer. He was arrested Thursday on charges of culpable negligence, unsafe storage of a firearm and tampering with evidence.

A judge on Thursday ordered that he remain jailed in lieu of $12,000 bail. He cannot have contact with the child or the child’s mother, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The child’s mother, who works in nursing, said she took the boy to the bathroom and cleaned and wrapped his fingers. Then a friend drove them to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

According to an arrest report, the woman called Gomes Quintero to tell him what had happened.

He told investigators that he went to the house and took the gun and a mirror that had a bullet hole in it. He said he tossed the mirror behind the house and left the gun, his wallet and two cellphones in the car he had crashed earlier that day. The arrest report does not have details about the crash.

Gomes Quintero told investigators he brought the pistol about a month ago, the report said,

An attorney for Gomes Quintero wasn’t listed on jail records.

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