Mother charged after 2-year-old uses her gun to shoot father dead

Incident happened last month when 26-year-old Reggie Mabry was playing a video game in his home

Maroosha Muzaffar
Tuesday 07 June 2022 07:01 BST
Florida child shot father with unsecured gun

A 28-year-old Florida woman was charged with manslaughter on Monday after her two-year-old boy accidentally shot his father.

The incident happened last month when 26-year-old Reggie Mabry was playing a video game in his home in Orlando, Florida, and one of his three children found a gun and fired it, hitting Mabry in the back.

Authorities said that Mabry and his 28-year-old wife Marie Ayala were convicted felons and were not allowed to own guns.

They both were on probation for child neglect and narcotics charges, Sheriff John Mina of Orange County told a press conference on Monday.

The mother was charged with manslaughter, culpable negligence, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Authorities said that if convicted of manslaughter, she could face up to 15 years in prison.

It still remains unclear how the two-year-old boy found the Glock 19 but authorities said that Ms Ayala acknowledged that “any child in the room could have figured out how to get the gun out of the bag.”

Mr Mina of Orange County said: “The gun was not properly stored. In fact, it was easily accessible even to a 2-year-old, and the result is a tragedy.”

On 26 May, when first responders arrived at the scene of the shooting, they initially believed that it was a death by suicide. After investigation, it was found that Ms Ayala had heard a loud pop which made her jump up from her bed and found her husband bleeding on the floor.

Ms Ayala told the police that it was her toddler who had fired the weapon.

Sheriff Mina said: “These young children have effectively lost both of their parents. And a young child has to live his life knowing he shot his father.”

According to Everytown for Gun Safety — a gun-control group — 163 people in the US were shot and killed by children, unintentionally. The group states that this year the number is 46.

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