Fla. dad tells 911 toddler fatally shot mom

AP News
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Posted: Apr 22, 2011 5:17 PM
Fla. dad tells 911 toddler fatally shot mom

Police are questioning the father of a 2-year-old boy who claims his son somehow got a hold of a pistol and shot the toddler's mother to death.

A judge gave custody of the toddler to other relatives after a hearing Friday. The father, who was not married to 33-year-old Julia Bennett but had the boy with her, was visiting her apartment when the shooting occurred Wednesday night.

The father has not been charged and police have not identified him.

The father called 911 after the shooting and said the child had somehow accessed his 9 mm semiautomatic and accidentally fired it, killing the boy's mother. Miramar Police have said the father has a concealed weapons permit for the firearm.

Bennett's family does not believe the child shot her and said the boy doesn't understand what happened.

"He misses his mother. He keeps calling `mommy, mommy'," his great aunt, Marva Anglin, said. "It's very sad."

Judge Arlene Simon ordered the boy to stay with Anglin and his great-grandmother.

Family members said Bennett worked at a hospital and was going to school. They have never met the child's father, but told the judge they did not want him in their home for supervised visits with the child.

The judge granted that request, ruling the father could have supervised visits as long as it was outside of Anglin's home.

Bennett's aunt, Valerie Thompson, said they are still reeling from her death.

"We were so devastated. We could not believe it," she said.

A telephone call and e-mail to Miramar Police was not immediately returned Friday.

The Department of Children and Families has met with Anglin's family and said they would assist with whatever services were needed, including child care.