Woman arrested after 3-year-old child grabs loaded gun, fires it

Abbie Maldonado accused of felony child neglect

DELTONA, Fla. – A woman was arrested on Monday after a 3-year-old child got her loaded gun and fired it, shattering the driver's side window of her car, authorities said.

The child was unharmed, deputies said. Abbie Maldonado had the child with her as she drove to pick up her son from Good Shepherd Academy on Howland Boulevard in Deltona.

[Read more: Kids' reaction after finding gun surprises parents I Simple gun safety devices for the home

Maldonado left the child in the vehicle with the door propped open and walked around as she waited.


Deputies said she was talking with other parents and heard a loud bang, but did not realize that the gun had gone off.

She went to check on the child and then returned to the parking lot, deputies said.

Deputies said she took the child to the bathroom but didn't realize what had happened.

When she returned to her vehicle, she heard glass cracking from the front driver’s side window, which was shattered.

Maldonado noticed that her loaded gun had been moved from the driver’s side door pocket to the front seat, deputies said.

Maldonado checked the child for injuries and reported the incident to the school.

“Nobody’s hurt, but we had a parent that has a concealed weapon permit and a child got hold of it and pulled the trigger,” the caller said.

"This is a reminder that accidents do happen and we encourage everyone to exercise caution and extra responsibility, especially on school grounds where so many children are present. We encourage parents to never leave children unattended in a vehicle. Any suspected violation of Florida gun statutes on school property will be immediately reported by Good Shepherd Academy to Volusia County Sheriff’s Office," Good Shepherd and Little Lambs principal Jared Rathje said.

Deputies said Maldonado told them that she normally keeps the gun locked in the trunk.

Maldonado was arrested on suspicion of felony child neglect.

Maldonado's lawyer said he has no comment at this time because he just got assigned to the case and he still has to look at the charging affidavit. He said it is standard procedure for DCF to visit a person's home if they're facing charges like child neglect.

Maldonado has bonded out of jail.