A Florida man was arrested Tuesday in the shooting death of a woman who was on a Zoom call when her 2-year-old fired a gun, officials said.
Veondre Avery, 22, the father of the child, faces charges of manslaughter and non-safe storage of a firearm in the murder of Shamaya Lynn, 21, on August 11, the state attorney’s office said in a statement.
The toddler found the gun, which detonated while Lynn was on Zoom call with co-workers, at the couple’s home in Altamonte Springs, officials said.
Another person on the call called 911 and reported hearing a noise before Lynn suddenly fell back. When police arrived, officers found Avery performing CPR on Lynn, prosecutors said.
Avery was arrested on Tuesday and was in custody Tuesday evening. Court records online did not appear to show a case, and it was not clear if he had a lawyer.
Neither child who was at the house at the time was injured in the shooting, police said.
“I know it’s tragic, I know maybe it wasn’t something that person wanted to do, but now you have consequences,” Rob Ruiz, police officer from Altamonte Springs, told reporters.
The state attorney’s office said a police investigation determined the gun was in a “Paw Patrol” backpack in the couple’s bedroom.
Only one shot was fired, and “forensic evidence clearly established that the child independently possessed and used the weapon,” the prosecutor’s office said. Lynn was shot in the head.
A partially edited 911 audio call shows a man, apparently Avery, begging emergency medical personnel to hurry. He told the dispatcher he had just come home and found his girlfriend on the floor bleeding and had no idea what had happened. In the audio, it counts as it does CPR before help arrives.
Ruiz said gun owners have a responsibility to secure their guns. Police urged gun owners to keep their guns locked.
Altamonte Springs is a town of approximately 43,800 residents north of Orlando.