Marie Ayala, 28-year-old Florida woman has been charged with manslaughter 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. One of his three children found a gun and fired it, hitting Mabry in the back.
Authorities said that Mabry and 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.
Ayala was charged with manslaughter, culpable negligence, as well as 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 gun but authorities said that Ayala acknowledged that “any child in the room could have figured out how to get the gun out of the bag.”
Speaking about the incident, 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 May 26th, 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 Ayala had heard a loud pop which made her jump up from her bed and found her husband bleeding on the floor.
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.