Authorities charged a Florida woman with manslaughter on Monday after her 2-year-old son discovered a gun in their home and accidently shot his father in the back, killing him.
According to an arrest complaint from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the father, Reggie Mabry, 26, was playing a video game in his house in Orlando, Fla., last month when one of his three children managed to get a Glock 19 and opened fire.
Mr. Mabry and his wife, Marie Ayala, 28, were convicted felons who were not entitled to own guns under the law, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina. He claimed they were on probation for child neglect and narcotics offenses.
When police arrived at the victim’s home in Orlando on May 26 after receiving a 911 call, they discovered the child’s mother, Marie Ayala, performing CPR on her husband, Reggie Mabry.
The 26-year-old, who died shortly after in hospital, was first thought to have shot himself, but the eldest of the couple’s three children later told police that his two-year-old brother had pulled the trigger, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference.
According to court filings, the gun was in a bag that Mabry had left on the ground, and the youngster discovered it and shot his father in the back while he was playing a video game on a computer.
At the time of the occurrence, the five family members, including a five-month-old girl, were all in the same room.
Both parents were on parole at the time, according to the sheriff, for repeated counts of child maltreatment and drug usage.
Authorities charged Ms. Ayala with manslaughter, criminal negligence, and felon in possession of a handgun. If convicted of manslaughter, she may face up to 15 years in prison.
Sheriff Mina stated, “The gun was not properly stored.” “In fact, even a 2-year-old could access it, and the result is a catastrophe.”
The allegations were made at a time when, in the wake of mass murders, gun control measures are being suggested at the federal level and across the country, and gun safety is on the minds of Americans tired of violence. According to advocates of gun control, Mr. Mabry’s death highlights the unintended violence that can arise from easy access to guns in America.
The new disaster occurs as the country grapples with gun rules in the aftermath of multiple deadly mass shootings, including at a grocery, a hospital, and a primary school.
According to data from the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety, 163 individuals were shot and killed by minors in the United States last year. According to the organization, there have been 46 such deaths so far this year.
Last week, President Joe Biden advocated for tighter background checks to prevent convicts from obtaining firearms. He also advocated for gun-safety legislation that would hold people accountable if they failed to secure their firearms.
“If you own a weapon, you have a responsibility to secure it … to lock it up, to have trigger locks,” the president said. “And if you don’t, and something bad happens, you should be held responsible.”