US father charged after toddler fatally shoots mother on Zoom call

·2-min read
Veondre Avery (SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)
Veondre Avery (SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)

Police in Florida have charged a man over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend by the couple’s two-year-old child while she was on a Zoom call for work.

The toddler discovered Veondre Avery’s loaded gun inside a children’s “Paw Patrol” backpack while Shamaya Lynn was on a work call on August 11.

Avery, 22, is accused of negligent manslaughter and failure to securely store a firearm. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

According to the Altamonte Springs police department, the toddler retrieved the gun from a backpack on the couple’s bedroom floor and fired a single shot at the mother.

One of Lynn’s co-workers on the call then dialled 911 after hearing a loud noise and seeing Lynn fall backwards.

"One of the girls passed out...She has the camera on. Her baby is crying in the back," the co-worker said in a phone call released by police to local media.

Police said Avery was not at home at the time of the shooting, though forensic evidence had “clearly established” that the toddler held and fired the weapon.

Avery returned home to find Lynn, 22, bleeding on the floor. In a call to paramedics, he could be heard performing CPR and told responders he did not know what had happened, according to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.

Lynn was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived at the scene.

"Your decisions have consequences," Altamonte Springs police officer Roberto Ruiz told reporters on Tuesday.

“You have a responsibility as a gun owner to take care of those firearms.”

Avery had an initial court appearance on Wednesday and is being held without bond, court records show. His next court date is set for November 23 and he has not yet obtained an attorney, according to the Seminole Clerk of Courts website.

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