A family in Florida is grieving for the unexpected death of Shamaya Lynn, 21, who was accidentally shot by one of her toddlers.
Reports from the Altamonte Springs Police Department stated that the mom was having a Zoom call when the person at the other end of the video heard a noise, and then Lynn fell back. She never got up to take the call again, and the witness said that one of her kids was in the background.
The witness immediately called 911 to their home, where the police found the loaded and unsecured handgun. They also found Lynn with a gunshot wound to the back of her head.
Recording from the 911 call revealed that the people in the Zoom video could see Lynn bleeding but could not begin to explain what happened. A baby's crying could also be heard in the background.
The emergency services also had a call from Lynn's boyfriend, who found her unconscious on the floor and bleeding everywhere. He told the police that he is the father of the two kids in their apartment.
The unidentified man was handcuffed and brought in for questioning because of the loaded and unsecured gun in their home. However, the police stated no arrest had been made, and the case is still under investigation.
Meanwhile, the paramedics could not save Lynn because of her wounds.
Responsibility as Adults
Sgt. Rob Ruiz of the Altamonte Springs Police Department said that adults who own a firearm have the responsibility "to keep people safe." He implored gun owners to keep their firearms locked and secured to prevent fatal accidents.
The detectives are still working with the Attorney's Office on whether the children's father should be charged. Meanwhile, Lynn's family members in Florida have taken in the children.
The Florida incident comes after a dad in North Carolina was also accidentally shot and killed by his 2-year-old son on the same week as Lynn's accidental death. Markovia LaShawn Durham, 29, was feeding his toddler when the boy's tiny hands were able to grab hold of a Glock pistol, and he pulled the trigger on his dad.
The grandmother, who was in the house, told the police that she saw her grandchild playing with the gun, thinking it was a toy. After firing the handgun, the toddler ran to his grandmother and seemed confused. The grandmother said that Durham was close to his son.
In April 2021, a 3-year-old also accidentally killed his 8-month-old brother in Houston after the toddler found an unsecured firearm inside the apartment. The baby was shot in the stomach and could not be saved at the hospital. Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge said that they found another handgun in the family's car. She also pleaded to gun owners to keep their firearms locked up.
Keeping Kids Safe
In 2020, 369 accidental shootings by kids younger than 18 years old happened in the U.S., per a track report from Everytown for Gun Safety.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safest homes for children are those without any guns. However, for parents who keep firearms, gun safety education is very important.
Parents need to ensure that their guns and ammunitions are safely inside the storage that the children cannot unlock. If the guns are used for target practice or hunting, the parents need to ensure that the safety latch is in place and that the guns are not loaded when not in use.
Parents also need to assess if their kids are ready and responsible enough to hold a gun for target practice or hunting. The AAP said that despite teaching safety instructions to the children, some might be too young to handle a gun.
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