Florida police arrested a father whose toddler discovered a loaded gun in his “Paw Patrol”-themed backpack, ultimately shooting and killing his mother, Shamaya Lynn, on a work video call.
The Seminole County sheriff’s office arrested the father, Veondre Avery, on Tuesday and charged him with manslaughter and failure to securely store a firearm.
According to an investigation from Florida’s state attorney for the 18th judicial circuit, police discovered the gun used belonged to Avery, who had left the backpack containing the firearm on the floor and unsecured before leaving his home.
“While Avery was out of the home, Lynn had been on the video conference call with co-workers,” said the state attorney for the 18th judicial circuit’s office in a statement. “Unknown to her, their 2-year-old child had gotten possession of the firearm, and moved to a position behind Lynn, firing a single shot striking her.”
One of Lynn’s coworkers in the conference call was the first to report the incident to 911.
“I don’t know where to begin,” the coworker said on the phone. “One of the girls passed out she was bleeding. She has the camera on. Her baby is crying in the back.”
Avery also called emergency services after he returned home and discovered his girlfriend’s body, but it was too late – Lynn was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to The Washington Post, Avery faces up to 15 years in prison for the homicide charge as well as a $10,000 (around R147,300) fine and 15 years of probation.
Avery is currently in Seminole County Jail and is being held without bond. A trial date has not been set for the case.