A caretaker accidentally shot a man with developmental disabilities while unloading his gun inside a Montgomery County group home, police said.
Kashaan Moses, 25, a former employee with the Jewish Education Vocation (JEVS), which provides care for people with special needs and disabilities, told police he recently purchased a firearm earlier this year after losing friends to gun violence in Philadelphia.
On April 9, Moses arrived at a JEVS residential group home on the 600 block of Rosemont Avenue in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, to work a night shift and take care of three people who lived at the house, including 71-year-old Thomas Lavin. Moses’ job was to keep them safe, wake them up in the morning, serve them breakfast and give them any medication they needed.
Moses told police he brought his newly purchased Glock 17, 9 mm handgun inside the home because he didn’t want to keep it inside his car overnight, according to investigators. He also said he wanted to adjust the holster so that it fit better on his waistband.
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On the morning of April 10, with his shift nearing its end, Moses was watching television with Lavin inside a room. Police said Moses tried to unload his gun. As Moses pulled the slide back to make sure there wasn’t a round “in the head,” the gun went off, according to investigators.
Lavin, who was sitting six to eight feet away from Moses, was then shot in the face, just below his left eye.
Moses immediately called 911 and tried to render aid to Lavin, police said. Lavin was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital for treatment before being transferred to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
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Lavin remains hospitalized more than a month later after suffering a stroke, an aneurysm, having his left eye surgically removed and having a stent placed in his carotid artery. Lavin, who was born with developmental disabilities, will likely need nursing home care for the rest of his life, according to medical staff.
“I feel sorry for him,” Lavin’s cousin, Myra Dennacola, told NBC10. “He didn’t need a gun.”
Moses surrendered to police on Wednesday and was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment. He was later released on $25,000 bail unsecured.
Moses, who did not have a criminal record prior to the shooting, has cooperated with police, according to investigators.
"He feels remorse,” Upper Gwynedd Police Chief David Duffy told NBC10. “He knows it's a terrible tragedy, what happened."
Police also determined Moses had obtained a permit to carry a firearm in Philadelphia in late February and then legally purchased the gun on April 3.
Moses told police that prior to buying the weapon, he had only fired a gun once while playing with friends a year before the shooting, investigators said. He also admitted to not taking any firearm safety courses prior to the shooting, according to police.
"He made a very poor judgment decision that's going to affect the rest of his life,” Chief Duffy said.
Management and personnel at JEVS told police they never received any complaints about Moses’ behavior toward their residents at their facilities.
They also confirmed that they had a “no weapons” policy which Moses was aware of since his employment orientation in 2014. Moses no longer works with JEVS.