ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) —
A 2-year-old boy fatally shot his father in an accident after he found a gun, and the boy’s mother now faces criminal charges, Florida authorities said Monday.
Reggie Mabry, 26, was shot and killed late last month while playing a video game. The gun was fired by his 2-year-old son in the Mabry home, his wife Marie Ayala and their three shared young children in the Orlando subway, according to a report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“The gun was not properly stored,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference. “In fact, it was easily accessible, even to a 2-year-old, and the result is a tragedy that no one in this community can truly comprehend.”
Ayala, 28, was charged with culpable negligence manslaughter, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and breach of probation, Mina said.
Ayala and Mabry were on probation for child neglect and possession of narcotics.
Ayala remained in jail without bail on Monday, according to an online jail file. Online court records showed she was represented by the public defender’s office, but no further details were provided.
Ayala told detectives that her 5-year-old son told her that his 2-year-old brother fired the gun, but the older brother could not explain how his younger brother got his hands on the gun. , according to the arrest report.
The children were unharmed and have been taken into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The tragedy could have been avoided if the weapon had been properly stored, the sheriff said.
“Now these young children have effectively lost both parents,” Mina said. “And a young child has to live his life knowing that he shot his father.”