Police have apprehended a Florida mom and charged her with manslaughter after her husband was shot in the back by their 2-year-old son, authorities said Monday.
Marie Ayala, 28, was charged with one count of manslaughter by culpable negligence after her 2-year-old son managed to get ahold of her Glock handgun that is believed to have been used to shoot his father in the back with while he was playing a video game, according to arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sherriff’s Office.
The older brother, 5, told authorities that his sibling accidentally fired the gun, the affidavit says.
Orange County Sherriff John Mina told reporters, “The gun was not properly stored, and in fact, it was easily accessible even to a two0year-old, and the result is a tragedy in this community that no one can comprehend,” according to NBC affiliate WESH.
Ayala told investigators that the couple and their three children, including an infant, were in their bedroom of their Orlando home on May 26 when the gun was fired and hit his father, 26-year-old, Reggie Mabry, the affidavit says.
According the the affidavit viewed by NBC News reporters, the Glock handgun was loaded with an extended clip, also known as a high-capacity magazine, and within reach of the toddlers as the handheld at the time was found near dirty laundry in a bag.
Ayala says she thinks the Glock could’ve slipped out the bag while being hung on the wall.
Glocks are known to have no-safety features on the gun, while magazines hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Some states, such as Washington, are working on a high-capacity magazine ban that will go into effect in July.
In an interview between Ayala and the Orange County Sherriff detective , he asks Ayala “if she thought the gun being stored in a bag, three feet above the ground, was safe with children in the room,” the affidavit quotes a sheriff’s detective saying. “She advised it was not safe. She acknowledged that any child in the room could have figured out how to get the gun out of the bag.”
Ayala could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter in the May 26 shooting. Jail records show that Ayala is currently being held on a $10,000 bond and is also being charged with illegal possession of a firearm as a felon.