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.
The man, Veondre Avery, 22, the child’s father, faces charges of manslaughter and failure to securely store a firearm in the killing of Shamaya Lynn, 21, on Aug. 11, the state attorney’s office said in a statement.
The toddler found the gun, which went off while Lynn was on a Zoom call with co-workers, in the couple’s home in Altamonte Springs, officials said.
Another person on the call phoned 911 and reported having heard a noise before Lynn suddenly fell backward. When police arrived, they found Avery performing CPR on Lynn, prosecutors said.
Avery was arrested Tuesday and was in custody Tuesday night. Online court records did not appear to show a case, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney.
Neither of the two children who were at the home at the time were injured, police said.
“I know it’s tragic, I know it may not have been something that that person wanted to do, but now you have consequences,” Altamonte Springs Police Officer Rob Ruiz told reporters Tuesday.
The state attorney’s office said a police investigation determined that the gun was in a “Paw Patrol” backpack in the couple’s bedroom.
A single shot was fired, and “forensic evidence clearly established that the child possessed and independently fired the weapon,” the prosecutor’s office said. Lynn was shot in the head.
Partly redacted audio of the 911 call recorded a man, apparently Avery, pleading with emergency medical personnel to hurry. He told the dispatcher he had just got home and found his girlfriend on the floor bleeding and had no idea what happened. In the audio, he counts as he does CPR before help arrives.
Ruiz said gun owners have a responsibility to secure their firearms. Police have urged gun owners to keep their weapons locked.
Altamonte Springs is a city of around 43,800 north of Orlando.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.