Florida mom arrested after toddler fires gun

A mom is charged with child neglect after Volusia County sheriff's deputies say she let her toddler get ahold of her loaded gun.

According to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Abbie Maldonato, 30, of Deltona, arrived at Good Shepherd Academy on Howland Road to pick up one of her sons around 3:30 p.m.

She got out of the car to walk around the parking lot with other parents and left her three-year-old alone in the back seat, according to the report.

“The woman told us that she ordinarily keeps the gun locked in the trunk where it’s not accessible,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Gary Davidson. “Unfortunately, in this case, she simply forgot to do that and left it in the door handle.” 

Deputies say the toddler found the gun in the front seat and fired one shot.  According to the report, no one was injured and the bullet never exited the vehicle’s door frame.   

“It absolutely could have been a tragedy. They could be planning a child’s funeral,” Davidson said.

Deputies say the principal of the school called 911 and Maldonato was arrested after giving a statement.

According to the report, Maldonato has a license to carry a concealed weapon.