A two-year-old boy accidentally killed his father in Florida by shooting a loaded gun left unattended by his parents, local authorities said Monday. When they arrived at the victim’s home on May 26 near Orlando, the police, alerted by a call, discovered the mother, Marie Ayala, in the process of providing cardiac massage to her husband, Reggie Mabry, hit by a shot. Law enforcement initially believed the 26-year-old, who died shortly afterwards in hospital, had shot himself, but the eldest of the couple’s three children told investigators that the perpetrator the fatal blow was his two-year-old brother, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference.
The gun was in a bag that Reggie Mabry had left on the ground and the child, upon finding it, shot his father in the back who was playing a video game on a computer, court documents say. The five family members, including a five-month-old daughter, were in the same room at the time.
Both parents were on parole after multiple offenses of child neglect and drug use, the sheriff said. “Gun owners who do not store them safely are only a fraction of a second away from one of these tragedies,” he said.
The United States is regularly bereaved by such tragedies. In August 2021, a two-year-old child thus seized a weapon left in a Paw Patrol backpack, a television series for children, before killing his mother in the middle of a meeting on Zoom, with a bullet in the the head. This accident also comes as the debate on the regulation of firearms rages in the country, after several deadly shootings in a supermarket, a hospital or even a primary school.