Florida police have arrested a man in connection to the tragic death of his girlfriend, who was fatally shot by their own toddler while on a Zoom video conference call.
According to a news release from the Altamonte Springs Police Department, 22-year-old Veondre Avery was arrested for the August 11 incident and is facing negligent manslaughter and unsafe storage of a firearm charges after his 2-year-old child “found a loaded handgun” and fatally shot 21-year-old Shamaya Lynn. The department shared:
“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.”
The Seminole County State Attorney’s Office investigated the matter and concluded that the toddler who shot Lynn found Avery’s loaded gun in the child’s Paw Patrol backpack.
While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Altamonte Springs Police Officer Rob Ruiz Jr. said the incident could have “absolutely” been avoided, sharing:
“To anyone and everyone tuning in to this story: If you do have a firearm, please keep it locked and secured this incident could be avoided… You have the responsibility as a gun owner to take care of those firearms. I know it’s tragic, I know it may not have been something that that person wanted to do, but now you have consequences.”
The release said that the incident went down when Lynn was on a Zoom call for work. Authorities were called after a person who was on the same Zoom call saw a toddler in the background of Lynn’s screen and heard a noise. The caller then saw the mother fall back, police said, and she was reportedly unresponsive.
Before first responders arrived, Avery apparently came home and found his girlfriend bleeding on the ground. In an audio recording of a 911 call, Avery can be heard urging medical responders to hurry, noting that he didn’t know what had happened. EMT officials tried to provide care for Lynn, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, when they arrived at the home, but she ultimately could not be saved.
Law enforcement confirmed that both of Lynn’s children, including the one who shot her, were not harmed in the incident and are now in the care of relatives.
Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones.
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