An “extremely negligent” St. Lucie County deputy is facing child abuse charges after he accidentally mishandled an AR-15 while drunk, shooting his daughter in the abdomen.
Daniel Weber, 35, smelled alcohol on Nov. 23 when officers responded to his Lakehurst Drive home over reports of a shooting.
Weber alleged that he was trying to teach his underage son how to clean the rifle when it fell and discharged after hitting the ground.
The bullet hit his daughter’s left hip/lower abdomen, police said. She needed “immediate surgery and extensive care” once at the hospital.
The father claimed that he was “experienced at handling firearms” and “handled several different types/ calibers of firearms for several years.”
He added that he had removed the magazine from the weapon and “believed the firearm to be empty.”
Weber’s son revealed that his dad “drinks every day” and “typically has a few beers and few mixed drinks before work, and then maybe a couple more on his days off.”
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office placed Weber on administrative leave following the incident.