ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputy who works at the jail is on administrative leave after he was arrested stemming from an incident in which a rifle discharged, leaving a girl with a gunshot wound, according to an arrest affidavit and police.
Daniel Allan Weber, of Port St. Lucie, was arrested Nov. 23 by Port St. Lucie police on a charge of aggravated child abuse and misdemeanor counts of using a firearm while under the influence of alcoholic beverages and culpable negligence.
Weber is on administrative leave without pay after the incident, which happened while he was off-duty with a personal firearm, Sheriff Ken Mascara said. Weber joined the agency in August.
When police got to the scene, investigators reported Weber smelled of an alcoholic beverage.
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Weber told police he wanted to show his son how to clean his AR-15 rifle. They sat on a sofa in the living room and he put the rifle on a “TV tray.” Weber said he checked it for ammunition and believed it was empty before going to the living room.
Weber said the “TV tray” began to fall forward, and the rifle fell forward. He said they reached for the rifle, and it discharged as it hit the ground.
Weber said he heard a girl start to cry, and learned she sustained a gunshot wound to her left hip and abdomen area. The relationship of the girl to Weber was not disclosed, nor was her age or where she was when she was shot.
The incident did not result in any life-threatening injuries, Mascara said.
Weber told police he is experienced handling firearms, and also said he drank about six beers.
“Mr. Weber failed to provide appropriate supervision for several minor children by consuming several alcoholic beverages and making the decision to willfully handle a large-caliber firearm,” police wrote in Weber’s arrest affidavit. “Mr. Weber’s decision to do so led to the victim suffering great bodily injury and suffering a gunshot wound from a high-caliber firearm, requiring immediate surgery and extensive care.”
Weber was released Nov. 24 from the St. Lucie County Jail on $50,000 bond, a sheriff’s official reported.
Attorney Jeffrey Garland is listed as representing Weber, who pleaded not guilty, according to court records.
Garland could not be reached Wednesday afternoon.