Veondre Avery, 22, has been arrested in connection to the Aug. 11 death of his girlfriend, Shamaya Lynn, 21. The couple’s toddler got access to a loaded gun and shot his mother once in the head while she was on her Zoom call.
Avery is being charged with negligent manslaughter and unsafe storage of a firearm. He was taken into police custody and it is unclear whether he has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
The tragic death happened in Lynn’s apartment in Altamonte Springs, Florida. One of her children, a 2-year-old toddler, found a loaded gun in a Paw Patrol backpack and accidently fired at his mother. The bullet hit her in the back of the head while she was on a Zoom call, and according to a co-worker on the same call, the woman just fell over after a loud noise and a child was heard crying in the background.
“I don’t know where to begin, but I’m on a live with a company, we just got hired. And one of the girls just passed out. She’s bleeding,” the coworker said after she called 911.
Veondre Avery came home not long after the shooting and also called 911 for his girlfriend. He told the dispatcher that there was a lot of blood and that Lynn was not breathing.
Medical professionals tried to revive Shamaya Lynn, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
At the time of the accident, Veondre Avery was questioned about his connection to the death and his ownership of the firearm, but he was never arrested.
This is not the first time that a toddler has accidently killed someone because they got access to a loaded weapon. Back in July 2021, a Wichita, Kansas man got a gunshot wound to the leg after his toddler accidently shot him.
According to the police, the father was asleep on their mobile home couch at Lamplighter Mobile Home Park in the 2300 block of South MacArthur when he woke up to a wound on his leg. His young daughter was injured on her hand.
“I understand that he had it in his holster, and she reached up and grabbed it, and that’s how she got shot, and it went through his leg,” said Chuck Rivas, a family friend and neighbor to the victim.
Police were unsure how the gun was stored and at what point the 3-year-old got access to it. Three other children were removed from the home after an investigation was launched.
Police want to remind gun owners to keep their weapons in a secure area and away from young children.
A similar shooting also happened last fall in November 2020, and the parents of the young toddler were recently charged with child endangerment after their toddler got access to a gun and shot his mother in the leg.
The mother was taken to the hospital and she was able to recover from her injury.
Logan Keller, 24, and Meriah Carlyle, 22, both pled guilty to the crime and were just recently sentenced. Carlyle received a deferred judgement and two years probation while Keller received a 90-day jail sentence and two years probation.
According to Every Town for Gun Safety, the number of toddler caused shootings has gone up since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2021 alone, there have been at least 259 unintentional shootings caused by young children. Those shootings resulted in 104 deaths and 168 injuries.
The organization believes that the Covid-19 pandemic combined with a lack of childcare and an increase in gun sales has spurred an increase in these kinds of incidents.