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After Toddler Shoots Mom on Zoom, an Arrest

2-year-old's father, Veondre Avery, is being held
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2021 11:00 AM CUT
Updated Oct 13, 2021 2:16 PM CUT

(Newser) Update: A 22-year-old Florida man has been arrested in the case of a toddler who shot and killed his mother while she was on a Zoom call in August. Veondre Avery, 22, allegedly left a loaded gun in his 2-year-old son's Paw Patrol backpack, which was on the floor of the bedroom Avery shared with Shamaya Lynn. The child found the gun and ended up shooting Lynn in the head. In a 911 call, Avery said, "I literally just got home and ... my girlfriend who was working on the computer, she’s just laid back and there’s blood everywhere." He was arrested Tuesday on a negligent manslaughter charge and is being held without bond, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Our original story from Aug. 13 follows:

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A young mother was fatally shot in the head by her toddler during a Zoom call on Wednesday, according to police in Florida. A person who was on the work-related conference call dialled 911 saying they heard a loud noise, then saw 21-year-old Shamaya Lynn fall backward, reports WESH and NBC News. She wasn't seen again on camera, per the AP. The camera reportedly captured Lynn's toddler in the background. Authorities rushed to the scene at the Oaks of Spring Valley apartments in Altamonte Springs, just north of Orlando, but were unable to save the young mother of two, who'd been shot in the head.

Investigators said one of Lynn's two children had found the loaded gun, which belonged to the children's father, unsecured in the apartment. The Seminole County State Attorney's Office will determine whether the father should face charges. "If you own a firearm, please keep it locked and secured. Incidents like this could be avoided," said officer Roberto Ruiz Jr. The police department is offering free gun locks to gun owners who don't have one, per WESH. There have been at least 220 unintentional shootings by children in the US so far this year, resulting in 83 deaths and 149 injuries, according to the Everytown for Gun Safety advocacy group. (Read more shooting death stories.)

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