SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Police in central Florida have arrested the father of a toddler who found a loaded handgun and fatally shot his mother while she was on a Zoom call for work.
Veondre Avery, 22, was arrested Tuesday and charged with negligent manslaughter and unsafe storage of a firearm, Altamonte Springs police said.
The Seminole-Brevard State Attorney’s Office said Avery’s 2-year-old son found the loaded gun on Aug. 11 in his “Paw Patrol” backpack on the floor of the bedroom he shared with his mother. Investigators said the toddler fired a single shot that hit his mother, 21-year-old Shamaya Lynn, in the head.
A woman who also was on the Zoom call dialed 911, reporting that she heard a noise and saw Lynn fall. The co-worker didn’t know how old Lynn was or where she lived, but meanwhile, Avery also called 911, begging responders to hurry as he tried to help Lynn.
“I literally just got home and I come in the room… (and) my girlfriend who was working on the computer, she’s just laid back and there’s blood everywhere,” Avery said on the 911 call.
He told the dispatcher that Lynn wasn’t breathing, and he could not feel her heartbeat. Lynn was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities said another child also was in the home during the shooting.
The Seminole County State Attorney’s Office said Avery is being held without bond. Records did not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WFLA contributed to this report.