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Florida Mom Charged After 2-Year-Old Son Killed His Father

A Florida woman was charged with manslaughter after her two-year-old son found a gun in their home and fatally shot his father, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the father, Reggie Mabry, 26, was playing video games on May 26, the boy obtained the gun and shot his father in the back in their Orlando home. The woman, Marie Ayala, 28, was charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon and violation of probation. "A young child has to live their life knowing that he shot his father," Orange County Sheriff John Mina said, "These tragedies are 100 percent preventable."

The number of unintentional shootings involving children rose during the COVID-19 pandemic as gun sales totals jumped and more children stayed home. Ayala told investigators after the shooting that she typically stored the gun, a Glock 19, in a backpack that she hung on a nail about three feet off the ground. It wasn't clear how the boy obtained the gun. Ayala and Mabry were both felons who were on probation for charges that included child neglect. Because of the charges, they weren't allowed to have a firearm. Mina called the shooting a tragedy and said he couldn't "emphasize strongly enough" that guns should be kept away from children. "Gun owners that do not properly secure their firearms," Mina said, "are just one split second away from one of these tragedies happening in their homes."


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