Florida Mom Faces Charges After Toddler Shoots, Kills His Father

Marie Ayala
Facebook | Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida

News & Politics
Jessica Powers

A 26-year-old Florida mom of three is facing charges after her 2-year-old son allegedly shot and killed his father, authorities said Monday.

Marie Ayala, 26, was charged with one count of manslaughter by culpable negligence at the Orange County Sheriff's Department, after failing to properly secure a Glock handgun at her home in Orlando, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Toddler Found Gun, Shot Father While Playing Video Games

Police said the couple's toddler accidentally killed his father, Reggie Mabry, 26, with a gun while playing a video game.

The statement posted by the Sheriff's office states that the couple's 5-year-old son told police that his sibling had accidentally fired the fatal shot. The couple's infant child was also in the house at the time.

The Couple Should Not Have Had A Gun Due To Criminal Records

Police said both Reggie Mabry and Marie Ayala are convicted felons who should not have even had a gun in the house at the time.

Both were also on probation for child neglect and narcotics possession at the time of the incident, Orange County Sheriff John Mina told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

The Wife Remains Behind Bars Following The Shooting

Ayala is currently being held in lieu of $10,000 bond, jail records show. She is being represented by the public defender's office.

Her family members created several GoFundMe pages trying to raise money to hire an attorney and to help care for the couple's children, who are now in the care of relatives. She also took to Facebook to express sadness over her husband's death prior to being arrested.

Authorities Remind The Public That Accidental Shootings Are Preventable

Authorities remind the public about gun safety.
Wikimedia | Fæ

Under Florida law, a loaded firearm must be kept in a locked box or secured with a trigger lock if a child under 16 can access it.

Police pointed out that tragedies like this are "almost incomprehensible, and they are 100 percent preventable," and it's important people know how to safely store guns so that children can't access them.

"The children were not injured physically, but they will likely carry emotional wounds forever. Not only have they effectively lost both parents, the toddler who accidentally shot his father in the back will have to grow up with the knowledge that his actions caused his dad's death," the sheriff's office wrote. "If you own a gun, always be responsible. Take the extra steps to secure it properly and keep you and your family safe."

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