ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Fortunately, no one was hurt when a 4-year-old boy found a loaded handgun under the porch of his family's home, and pulled the trigger Sunday evening.
Monday, his family said they were thankful the story was shocking - but not a tragedy.
Little Danny Waiters said he was shooting at a bird. The adults in the household said they have no idea how the Western-style revolver got there.
"It was right there," the pre-schooler showed FOX 13 News Monday morning, pointing to an opening on the side of the porch.
Danny said he chased a stray cat under the porch and saw the gun within easy reach.
When asked how the gun went off, he replied, "I shot it at the bird... I went BOOM!... The bird got away."
His great grandmother went to Danny when she heard the gun fire.
"I think it scared him, when the gun went off," Barbara Mobley said. "Because Danny set there, Danny didn't move, because when I walked out Danny was still in the same position with the gun in his hand and his mother just came out and took it out of his hand."
Mobley lives in a house that shares fencing with the home occupied by her granddaughter and great grandchildren. She was inside her home when the shot was fired.
"I heard the gun go off, 'cause it was so close. I ran back to the window... and that's when I saw him with the gun in his hand," she recalled, adding she was so shaken, she had trouble dialing 911.
St. Petersburg police seized the High Standard Double-Nine, 9-shot revolver. The boy's mother described it as "...a cowboy gun...", which is fairly accurate.
According to one online source, the High Standard Double-Nine was manufactured for the Sears Roebuck Company starting in the mid 1950s. It was a Western-style .22 caliber revolver.
Investigators think someone stashed the gun, loaded with several rounds, under the home. They weren't sure how long it had been there. The gun was not registered.