Veondre Avery charged with the death of a friend on a Zoom call
A Florida man was charged in connection with the shooting of a young mother during a Zoom work-related call. Shamaya Lynn, 21, died after her own toddler received an unsecured pistol, pulled the trigger and fired, authorities said in August. According to court records, the owner of the gun did Veondre Avery, 22, kept the gun in a backpack that was adorned with animated characters from a children’s show and that his 2-year-old son – the toddler who fired the fatal shot – knew how to use toy guns.
Avery was charged this week on two charges related to the shooting: failure to safely store a firearm and manslaughter. According to prison records, he was sent to Seminole County, Florida prison on Tuesday and was due to be tried on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the participants in the fateful multi-party zoom was chosen to immediately alert the police as to what happened.
The colleague who called 911 said that during the Zoom call, one child “jumped on the bed without a shirt and looked like they were only wearing a diaper.” “She heard a loud noise and the child in the background started crying,” said the colleague. The “head of the victim fell backwards and moved forward back into” [the view of the] Screen. “The college noted” blood on ” [Lynn’s] Nose ”before the victim“ withdrew from the screen ”again. Nobody responded when colleagues called for help.
Finally, after several minutes had passed, the colleague told the police she heard Avery walk into the room and scream. The Zoom call stayed active while Avery called 911 himself. The colleague said she tried to call Avery but he couldn’t seem to hear her; the child was the only other person in the room when the shot rang.
Another colleague who answered the Zoom call said the shot “sounded like cans falling on the floor,” according to a police report filed with the court.
The zoom call was not recorded, the participants said. According to court records, authorities are trying to determine whether Zoom kept a backup record of the meeting on its own servers.
“Veondre Avery kept a loaded firearm in a child-friendly and accessible manner and in one location which resulted in a child firing that firearm, causing the death of Shamaya Lynn, contrary to Section 752.07 of the Florida Bylaws”, alleged a criminal information. It is further accused that Avery omitted the weapon “without the legally required supervision, in a rude, negligent, angry or threatening manner”.
A police report filed in court contains additional allegations of fact. It explains that Avery was Lynn’s friend. Avery was performing CPR on Lynn when officers arrived at the couple’s home due to the various 911 calls.
Officials said Lynn was killed in a bedroom she shared with the defendant. Two children lived in the couple’s house: a 2-year-old and an 11-month-old.
“I saw a bloody handgun on the bedside table and several other firearms in the closet,” wrote a responding officer in a report filed in court.
A “visibly angry” defendant told authorities during a subsequent interview with police that “everything was normal” in his relationship with his girlfriend, who has since passed away.
The defendant said he took a Lyft to an appointment with a chiropractor. When he returned home, his two-year-old told him that his head was sore. The defendant said he saw a bump on his son’s head. When he asked Lynn how the injury had come about, he saw her “slumped in her computer chair.” The police report added that she was “unresponsive” and had “excessive blood on her head and face.”
The defendant said he immediately called 911 and started resuscitation as instructed by a dispatcher.
“Veondre said he noticed his personal Glock pistol lying on the bed on the sheet,” the report continued. “He took the gun and put it somewhere on his bedside table, out of the reach of the children. Veondre said he also noticed on the damaged computer screen that a bullet was stuck in it. Veondre said he removed the projectile and handed it over to the first responder. “
The defendant said he “owns and keeps four firearms in the apartment,” the report said. The defendant said he usually kept the Glock 43, which fired the fatal bullet, in a “Paw Patrol backpack next to” his bed. The officers immediately established that “Paw Patrol” is an “animated children’s show” and the backpack with “colorful. . . Cartoon images of dogs that would be tempting to a child. “
The loaded Glock was not equipped with a security lock, according to the police report. The defendant admitted that he had kept the weapon “ready to fire with one shot in the chamber”. Avery said his two-year-old boy “plays with toy cap guns and knows how they work,” police said. “He also said that [his son] likes to pull the trigger on the toy guns, ”added the police.
The authorities issued a search warrant and seized weapons, ammunition, the “Paw Patrol” backpack and an “unknown amount of cannabis” from the apartment, according to court records. The other weapons contain “[t]where unlocked and unsecured rifles. . . on the top shelf of the bedroom closet ”and an“ unlocked and unsecured SCCY pistol. . . on a lower shelf in the closet. . . that could have been accessible when a child climbed the shelf. “
Police reports show that Avery’s story and receipts from Lyft have all been checked and there is no way he could have been the one who fired the fatal trail.
Attempts by the police to question the 2-year-old trigger with a gift from the grandparents were unsuccessful due to the age of the toddler.
According to court records, Avery is charged with manslaughter through “culpable negligence.” This law generally applies to the injury of a victim by a defendant through a general ignorance. Under Florida law, “actual personal injury” is a second degree offense; if a victim is only exposed to personal injury, it is a third-degree offense.
However, an additional section of the Sunshine State’s culpable negligence law applies to cases where minors are given firearms. This section applies when a defendant keeps or leaves “a loaded firearm within reach or easy access of a minor” who then “receives the firearm and uses it to injure or kill himself or another person”. Such situations are third degree crimes.
Florida’s sample jury instructions include this definition of culpable negligence:
Each of us has a duty to act sensibly towards others. If there is a breach of this obligation without a conscious intention to cause damage, it is considered negligence. But culpable negligence is more than the failure to take due care of others. For negligence to be culpable, it must be gross and blatant. Culpable negligence is a behavior that shows a negligent disregard for the life of people or the safety of people exposed to its dangerous effects, or such a complete lack of care that suggests a conscious indifference to the consequences, or the willfulness or Recklessness or grossly negligent disregard for the safety and welfare of the public, or indifference to the rights of others, which amounts to a willful violation of those rights.
Read several important documents from the court’s file below:
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