FL mom charged with manslaughter after toddler fatally shoots his father

There’s “Florida man” and there’s “Florida woman.” They each have their exceptional qualities, but now “Florida mom” is giving both of them a run for their money.

In the latest from the Sunshine State, a Florida mom has been charged with manslaughter after her two-year-old son fatally shot his father. The incident occurred on May 26 at the family’s home in Orlando, but it took some time before investigators unraveled the whole story.

When local sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, they initially thought they were responding to an attempted suicide. They discovered Marie Rose Ayala, 28, performing CPR on her husband, 26-year-old Reggie Mabry, who had been shot.

“It was initially thought based on the evidence that this could be a suicide, but we investigate all deaths,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina explained in a Monday press conference. “Detectives learned at the hospital that Reggie Mabry was actually shot in the back, and at the scene, the five-year-old told the authorities it was his two-year-old brother who shot their father.” 

As reported by CNN, an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office contains further details. Ayala, according to the affidavit, informed authorities that Mabry had been playing a video game on his computer when a loud pop alerted her to the situation. She called 911, and Mabry was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

But wait—there’s more! It turns out Ayala and Mabry were both convicted felons and were on probation for narcotics charges and child neglect. Ayala confessed that they possessed a Glock handgun, which was illegal for them to own, and stored it in a backpack that was hung on a nail three feet above the ground. It was not an unreasonable precaution, as most children are easily foiled by backpacks hung on nails three feet above the ground.

Detectives also learned that the backpack and its dangerous contents were kept in the same room that the couple shared with their three children—all of whom are under the age of 6. For this reason, Ayala has been charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and violation of probation.

“The gun was not properly stored,” Mina said during the press conference. “In fact, it was easily accessible, even to a two-year-old. And the result is a tragedy, again, in this community that no one can really comprehend.”

“I can’t emphasize strongly enough,” he added, “that our guns need to be secured, and kept out of the hands and away from children at all times. Gun owners that do not properly secure their firearms are just one split-second away from one of these tragedies happening in their homes.

“Now these young children have effectively lost both of their parents. Their father is dead. Their mother is in jail. And a young child has to live their life knowing that he shot his father. These tragedies are 100% preventable.”

There appears to be a rash of heavily-armed and murderous pre-pubescents plaguing the Orlando area of late; on Memorial Day, for instance, a 10-year-old girl allegedly produced a handgun from a backpack (a pattern?) and gunned down a woman who was brawling with her mother.

“You shouldn’t have messed with my mother,” the girl allegedly declared after the deed was done, which is a sentiment we can all sympathize with. Nevertheless, she’s been charged with second-degree murder.


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Todd Jaquith


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