Toddler Shot and Killed Shamaya Lynn on Zoom Call: Police
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A Florida Mother Was Accidentally Shot and Killed by Her Own Toddler While on a Zoom Call: Police

A Florida mother was accidentally shot to death in the middle of a work Zoom conference by her own toddler, who had found an unsecured handgun in her home, according to local authorities and news reports.

Police say that a member of the Zoom conference alerted authorities when the 21-year-old mother, Shamaya Lynn, dropped off the call, but they say that there was nothing to be done when they arrived.

“The person stated that during the work-related call they saw a toddler in the background and heard a noise, just before Ms. Lynn fell backward and never returned to the call,” the Altamonte Springs Police Department wrote in a statement on Facebook. “Officers and paramedics did their best in rendering aid to Mrs. Lynn, but she was found with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Investigators determined that the injury was caused by a toddler who found a loaded handgun, which was left unsecured by an adult in the apartment.”

State authorities are determining whether charges will be brought against the gun owner who left the weapon unsecured, according to local Fox affiliate WOFL.

“You can just imagine, it’s a terrible tragedy,” a police spokesman told the station, adding that the department gives away locks to parents free of charge.

“It’s heart-wrenching, because you think about what the family is going to be going through — not only today, tomorrow, the next day, but for years and years to come,” the spokesman added. “That’s where, you know, it hits home.”

Shamaya Lynn

Facebook photo of Shamaya Lynn

According to the peer-reviewed journal Injury Epistemology, the United States experiences four times as many unintentional gun deaths as other high income countries. Their 2019 study estimated that there were 430 unintentional firearm fatalities every year.

The coronavirus pandemic also played a reported role in a spike in gun deaths, with deadly unintentional shootings reportedly increasing 43-percent from March to April 2020, a study by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety found. The group estimates that 4.6 million children live in a home with at least one unlocked and loaded firearm.

(Photos via WKMG-TV screengrab and Facebook)

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks.