Mom arrested after boy, 3, shoots gun in parking lot

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(iStock)
(iStock)

Deltona - A woman who left her child unattended in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Florida church's school has been charged with felony child neglect after the three-year-old boy found her loaded handgun and pulled the trigger, sheriff's deputies say.

The boy wasn't injured after the shooting, but Volusia County Sheriff's spokesperson Gary Davidson said the bullet from the .380-caliber Glock pistol shattered a window in the vehicle and lodged in the door frame.

Davidson said the boy's mother, Abbie Maldonado, 30, didn't even realise the gun had been fired as she was walking with other parents in the parking lot while they waited for student dismissal at the Good Shepherd Academy in Deltona, which is near Daytona Beach on Florida's Atlantic coast. She later told investigators that she heard a bang, but didn't think it sounded like a gunshot. She checked on the boy and walked around the parking lot some more.

An arrest report said that a short time later she took the boy inside the school to use the bathroom. When they returned to the vehicle, she heard glass crackling and noticed the window was shattered.

Concealed weapon

The woman told investigators she went to the front of the church to see if anyone had seen anyone near her vehicle, still unaware of what had happened, the report said.

Eventually, she saw the gun lying on the front seat, next to the holster, Davidson said. The woman checked the boy for injuries and then reported the incident to the school.

Someone called 911, telling the dispatcher: "Nobody's hurt, but we had a parent that has a concealed weapon permit and the child got a hold of it and pulled the trigger."

Maldonado was released from jail after posting a $2 500 bond.

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