Tragedy: Ruskin Teen Dies in Possible Accident, Family Mourns

TAMPA, FL – Tragedy struck a family in Ruskin, leaving them in mourning after 14-year-old Mason Butler lost his life due to a shooting over the weekend. The incident, currently under investigation by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office, is believed to have been accidental.

Butler’s family described the Shields Middle School student as an active teenager who showed potential despite not particularly enjoying school. His aunt, Felicia Garcia, reflected on the impact Mason had on her life, highlighting his lessons on understanding people before passing judgment.

Last Saturday afternoon, deputies responded to a call at a residence on Seminole Sky Drive in Ruskin, where they discovered Mason with a gunshot wound. Despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The family suspects that the shooter, someone Mason considered a friend but was advised to avoid, may have accidentally discharged the firearm. They are now urging responsible gun ownership to prevent similar tragedies.

In the hours before the incident, Mason had informed his family that he was helping a neighbor with moving furniture and promised to return within 20 minutes. The sudden turn of events left his loved ones reeling, emphasizing the uncertain nature of life’s fleeting moments.

The 15-year-old shooter is said to be cooperating with authorities as the investigation progresses, though the family acknowledges that no amount of information or closure will erase the profound loss they now face. Deputies continue their inquiry, deliberating on whether charges will be filed in connection with the case.

Garcia, reflecting on Mason’s affectionate nature towards his mother, expressed deep sorrow over the devastating impact his absence will have on the family. As they navigate the aftermath of the tragedy, they seek solace in shared memories of Mason’s love and warmth.