Mom Charged After 2-Year-Old Shoots, Kills Dad

Florida couple kept their gun unsecured in a home with 3 children, police say
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2022 8:27 AM CDT
Mom Charged After 2-Year-Old Shoots, Kills Dad
Marie Ayala, left, and Reggie Mabry, right.   (Orange County Sheriff's Office)

A Florida woman is facing a manslaughter charge after her 2-year-old son fatally shot his father in the back. Marie Ayala, 28, of Orlando said she heard a "loud pop" on May 26 before finding 26-year-old father of three Reggie Mabry bleeding on the floor of their home, per the New York Times. He'd been playing video games when his 2-year-old son apparently found an unsecured Glock 19 and fired, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Both parents were barred from owning firearms as convicted felons on probation for child neglect and drug charges, Sheriff John Mina said Monday.

Mina said the weapon was "easily accessible, even to a 2-year-old." At various times, Ayala told authorities that the couple kept their gun in a bag on the floor, in a compartment, in a box in a closet, and in a broken safe, according to an arrest report. "She could not explain how the gun fell out of the bag, with a high capacity magazine inserted in it, all while being clipped and zipped," the report reads, per the Times. It adds Ayala admitted that "any child in the room could have figured out how to get the gun out of the bag." The couple's 5-year-old son and 5-month-old daughter were also present, per WION.

So far this year, 46 people in the US have been unintentionally shot and killed by children, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, which estimates 4.6 million children live in a home with an unsecured gun. "This is a uniquely American crisis where children are able to easily access unsecured loaded firearms and hurt themselves or others," Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts tells the Times, adding such shootings are rooted in "negligence by gun owners." Ayala could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter by culpable negligence. Held on no bond, she is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and violation of probation, per the AP. (More shooting death stories.)

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