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Florida Man Arrested After Police Say Toddler 'Found a Loaded Handgun' & Fatally Shot 21-Year-Old Mom

People logo People 10/13/2021 Vanessa Etienne
a close up of a street: Mat Hayward/Getty © Provided by People Mat Hayward/Getty

A Florida man has been arrested in connection to the Aug. 11 death of a mom who was shot by her own child, who "found a loaded handgun" while on a Zoom video conference call, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, police said 2-year-old child's father, 22-year-old Veondre Avery, was arrested for the incident and is facing negligent manslaughter and unsafe storage of a firearm charges after Shamaya Lynn, 21, was killed, the Altamonte Springs Police Department said in a news release.

a close up of a street: The child's father was arrested after investigators said his loaded gun was left in the toddler's Paw Patrol backpack © Mat Hayward/Getty The child's father was arrested after investigators said his loaded gun was left in the toddler's Paw Patrol backpack

"Avery was transported to the Seminole County Jail without further incident. We want to thank the Seminole County State Attorney's Office and the Seminole County Sheriff's Office for their assistance with this case," police said.    

An attorney for Avery was not found at time of publication.

RELATED: Florida Toddler Accidentally Shoots and Kills 21-Year-Old Mom During Zoom Work Call: Police

Video: Aug. 12: Florida toddler fatally shoots mother after finding unsecured gun (NBC News)


Altamonte Springs Police Officer Rob Ruiz told reporters Tuesday that the incident could have "absolutely" been avoided.

"You have the responsibility as a gun owner to take care of those firearms," he said, WESH2 reports. "I know it's tragic, I know it may not have been something that that person wanted to do, but now you have consequences." 

RELATED VIDEO: 7-Year-Old Utah Girl Is Killed in Home After Man Allegedly Drunkenly Fires Bullet Through Wall

The incident occurred when Lynn was on a work-related Zoom call. Law enforcement officials were alerted after a person who was in the same virtual meeting saw a toddler in the background and heard a noise. Police said in a release that the caller then saw Lynn fall back and was later unresponsive.

In an audio recording of a 911 call, Avery can be heard begging medical personnel to hurry after he says he arrived home to find his girlfriend bleeding on the ground, noting that he didn't know what happened, NBC News reports.

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Officers and paramedics tried to render aid to Lynn when they arrived on the scene, but ultimately she could not be saved after suffering a fatal gunshot wound to the head, according to authorities.

An investigation from the Seminole County State Attorney's Office found that Lynn was shot by the toddler who found Avery's loaded gun in the child's Paw Patrol backpack.

Police told WESH2 that both of Lynn's children — including the one who fired the handgun — were not hurt in the incident and are now in the care of relatives.


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