(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A 28-year-old Florida mother on probation for child neglect has been charged in her husband’s death after authorities alleged her 2-year-old son found an unsecured handgun in their Orlando home and fatally shot his dad in the back.
Marie Ayala was being held at the Orange County Jail Wednesday morning on charges of manslaughter by culpable negligence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and violation of probation, according to online jail records.
“The gun was not properly stored. In fact, it was easily accessible even to a 2-year-old and the result is a tragedy … no one can really comprehend,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The deadly shooting unfolded around noon on May 26 in an East Orlando home that Ayala and her husband, 26-year-old Reggie Mabry, shared with their three children, ages 5, 2 and 5 months, Mina said. Ayala was arrested and booked into jail on Friday, according to jail records.
Ayala’s 2-year-old son found a Glock 19 pistol in a bag on the floor of their home near some laundry, according to court documents obtained by ABC affiliate station WFTV in Orlando.
Ayala purportedly told deputies that her husband was playing video games with their children when she heard a loud pop, according to the court documents. She said she went to investigate the noise and found her husband on the floor shot, according to the documents.
Mina said deputies responded to the home after getting a 911 call of a shooting. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found Ayala doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on her her husband, who was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
He said Ayala and Mabry’s 5-year-old son told deputies that his 2-year-old brother shot their father.
“It’s important to note that both Mabry and Ayala were on probation for child neglect and for narcotics charges,” Mina said.
Mina said the episode is a lesson to all gun owners to make sure their weapons are secured and out of the reach of children.
“Gun owners that do not properly secure their firearms are just one split-second away from one of these tragedies happening in their homes,” Mina said.
He said the children of Mabry and Ayala must now suffer the consequences of an incident that was “100% preventable.”
“Now the children have effectively lost both of their parents,” Mina said. “Their father is dead and their mother is in jail, and a young child has to live their life knowing that he shot his father.”
It was not clear Wednesday if Ayala has hired an attorney has been appointed a public defender.
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