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Toddler shoots mom dead, boy's father tells Florida police

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Did toddler shoot and kill his mom?
  • Julia Bennett, 33, was shot once in the back and died
  • The gun went off as the boy's father was trying to take it from his son, he says
  • Investigators say they will talk to the toddler

(CNN) -- A toddler shot and killed his mother, the boy's father told South Florida police, who say they will talk to the 2-1/2-year-old.

The father, who called 911, told police he was trying to take the firearm away from the child when it discharged.

The boy's mother -- Julia Bennett, 33 -- was shot once in the back and died from the injury, said Miramar Police spokeswoman Tania Rues.

"What we do know is that last Wednesday, shortly after 7 o'clock, we received a 911 call from a gentleman stating that his 2-1/2-year-old son accidentally shot his mother -- the boy's mother," Rues told HLN's Vinnie Politan.

Rues said investigators will talk to the toddler about the shooting, but that "due to the age, we're not expecting to get much."

The boy's father has not been identified by police. They said he has cooperated fully with the investigation, which started with a 911 call he placed on April 20.

In that roughly 4-1/2-minute call, a man's voice can be heard asking the dispatcher what to do. He speaks with a thick accent and seems overcome with emotion as he tries to explain what happened.

"My son picked it up and I tried to grab it," the man said about the gun. "Oh God, I can't believe this."

Rues said the State Attorney's office will decide whether to file charges. The boy's father could face charges of negligence, she said.

Bennett and the boy's father were not married and did not live together at the time of her death, according to Rues.

"This should serve as a reminder to all parents out there to not leave firearms accessible to children. Even if you believe the firearm is not loaded, it's just not smart. It's not safe," she said.