Father Arrested After Toddler Shoots Mom On Work Zoom Call With Loaded Gun He Found In Paw Patrol Backpack

Photo: Shamaya Lynn / Facebook
Veondre Avery, Shamaya Lynn

Authorities in central Florida have arrested the father of a toddler who fatally shot his mother while she was on a Zoom call for work.

The 2-year-old child then found the gun, and fired off a single shot that hit his mother, Shamaya Lynn while she was in the Zoom call with her co-workers. 

Veondre Avery was arrested over the shooting of Shamaya Lynn.

The father, Veondre Avery, 22, is facing charges of manslaughter and failure to securely store a firearm in the killing of Shamaya Lynn, 21. 

Through an investigation from Florida’s state attorney for the 18th Judicial Circuit, police alleged that the gun used belonged to Avery and that he had left the firearm in a ‘Paw-Patrol’ backpack on the floor and unsecured before leaving the house.

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“While Avery was out of the home, Lynn had been on the video conference call with coworkers,” the state attorney's office said in the statement.

“Unknown to her, their 2-year-old child had gotten possession of the firearm, and moved to a position behind Lynn, firing a single shot striking her.”

Lynn's co-workers say her get shot during a work Zoom call. 

One of Lynn’s co-workers on the call was the first one to call 911, having heard a noise before Lynn suddenly fell backward. 

“I don't know where to begin," the coworker said on the phone. “One of the girls passed out she was bleeding. She has the camera on. Her baby is crying in the back.”

Avery also called 911 after he returned home to find his girlfriend’s body on the floor, begging responders to hurry as he tried to resuscitate 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.

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Avery told the dispatcher that she wasn’t breathing, and he could not feel a heartbeat.

Lynn was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering a gunshot wound to her head.

Authorities say that there was also another child in the home during the shooting, but neither that child or the 2-year-old were injured.

Accidental gunshot deaths have increased during the pandemic.

A study conducted by the Injury Epidemiology found that there are an estimated 430 firearm fatalities in the United States per year.

The rate is highest for older children to young adults, ages 10 to 29, with the highest common circumstance 28.3% of incidents involving playing with a gun.

These unintentional deaths comprise 9% of all firearm deaths around the world, but the unintentional firearm death rate in the United States is four times higher than that of the other high-income countries.

Accidental gunshot deaths involving children handling unauthorized guns has also jumped almost 31% since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Research conducted by the advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety showed that 98 deaths that resulted from unintentional shootings by children from March through December 2019 had increased to 128 over that same period in 2020.

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Since the start of 2021, there have been at least 259 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 104 deaths and 168 injuries nationally.

The blame falls on COVID-19 lockdowns, lack of child care, record gun sales, and a reported surge of first-time gun buyers.

Veondre Avery is currently in custody, and he faces up to 15 years in prison for the manslaughter charge as well as a $100,000 fine and 15 years of probation.

Medical professionals say the best way to lower the risk of a child unintentionally shooting off a gun is to make sure that all firearms are locked away in a safe or lockbox, making sure that children will not have access to the keys.

Most of all, the safest home for a child is one where no gun is present at all.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.