An elderly Fort Lauderdale man who told police it was an accident when he shot a 12-year-old boy in the stomach Sunday evening has been denied bond.
James McIvery, 79, has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Judge John Hurley ruled McIvery must spend at least one more night in a Broward jail infirmary and reappear in court on Tuesday.
Police say the boy was among friends playing football in the street in the 700 block of 12th Terrace when McIvery walked out of his house and fired a gun twice into the ground around 5:30 p.m.
Some of the kids had knocked several times on McIvery's apartment door, said Fort Lauderdale Police Det. Travis Mandell, and McIvery told detectives that the kids were harassing him throughout the day and he had told them multiple times to leave him alone.
"They bothered him, calling him names and everything," said a neighbor. "They curse him out."
McIvery said he didn't mean to actually shoot one of the children, Mandell said, but said he fired his gun into the ground to scare them off but one of the bullets hit the boy in the abdomen.
"Some type of prior altercation took place and the 79-year-old male discharged a firearm," said Mandell. "Some sort of confrontation ensued."
The boy was rushed to Broward General Medical Center for emergency surgery and was in stable condition late Sunday, Mandell said.
"He's really in pain," said his mother. "They said he'll be in there for a while."
His uncle said that the boy will have to live with the bullet inside him.
According to the boy's friends, the incident began when their football hit McIvery's door.
"[The ball] hit the back of the door, my friend ran to go get his ball, the man came outside, but when it hit the door, we all ran, so we left him, and the man came out shooting," said friend LaMarcus Boone.
"It's very strange, and that's why we're trying to get to the bottom of it," Mandell said.
McIvery's public defender argued that he wasn't a flight risk and that he should get bail because of his multiple medical conditions and other factors, including that he is the sole caregiver for a daughter with special needs.