"I hope that this individual feels the full weight of the criminal justice system, and never sees the light of day where he can ever be in a position to harm another human being."
Jermaine Bass, a 30-year-old father-of-two from Florida, has been accused of shooting his children in the head as the two slept in their bed after their mom tucked them in to sleep. He has been charged with first-degree murder, as per PEOPLE. The police authorities at Hillsborough County stated that the shooting took place on Monday night. The Hillsborough County Sheriff, Chad Chronister, visibly disturbed by the shootings, expressed that the entire incident was "not only tragic but extremely disturbing" in his statement at the press conference, the morning after the incident.
Jermaine Lavanda Bass has been charged with murder in the first degree, attempt of murder in the first degree, and aggravated child abuse. pic.twitter.com/VHQGozNYUL— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) August 30, 2022
According to Chronister, the incident took place around 10:30pm, when the mother of the little kids returned home from Tampa. She lived with her husband Bass, her eight-year-old son, and her five-year-old daughter. She tucked the two children into bed and kissed them goodnight. "Her 5-year-old daughter giggles because she's trying to pretend that she's already asleep," stated Chonister. The mother then allegedly left her children with Bass as she went to the bathroom.
Soon, she heard the sound of gunfire and rushed outside and scared for her safety. Her husband was cradling the eight-year-old boy who was shot and told her to call for help. The mother called 911, the authorities arrived shortly, and investigated the crime scene. Upon reaching the home, the authorities "see the father in the family room, cradling the 8-year-old son, saying it was an accident," the sheriff said.
Sheriff Chad Chronister updating the public on a double shooting involving two children. pic.twitter.com/qtJIj5Zvsh— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) August 30, 2022
The location of the crime was Armature Gate Townhomes, and the HCSO deputies were at the scene in less than 10 minutes.
"Deputies go upstairs only to make the gruesome discovery that there's a 5-year-old laying in a top bunk, laying in a pool of her own blood," Chronister added. Like her brother, "she is shot two to three times in her head." The children were rushed to the hospital, where the little girl was pronounced dead, while the boy remains in critical condition and is fighting for his life.
"I hope that this individual feels the full weight of the criminal justice system, and never sees the light of day where he can ever be in a position to harm another human being," Chronister added.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff also tweeted about the incident. "Upon arriving at the scene, deputies located the two victims. Victim two was found with serious injuries and victim one was located deceased lying in her bed," the tweet read.
Upon arriving at the scene, deputies located the two victims. Victim two was found with serious injuries and victim one was located deceased lying in her bed.— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) August 30, 2022
Apart from the murder charge, Bass has been charged with first-degree attempted murder and aggravated child abuse. According to the jail records, he was denied bail and his attorney information is yet to disclosed.
As per Child Abuse & Neglect Laws in Florida, child abuse involves: "The intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child; An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child."
Under Florida law, aggravated child abuse is when a person: "Commits aggravated battery on a child; Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cases a child; or Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child." Considered among the most appalling crimes, Aggravated Child Abuse is a first-degree felony.
One can reach out to report child abuse and violence at the 24X7 toll free number 1-(800-962-2873).
Cover Image Credit: Getty Images| Staff