Thursday brought the strange and tragic news that a 2-and-a-half-year-old boy might have fatally shot his mother while playing with a handgun in Miramar. Now, as the investigation continues, some friends and relatives of the victim, 33-year-old Julia Bennett, aren't buying the original story and believe that the boy's father, who was present at the time of the shooting, might have more to do with it than he has told police.
Troy Bailey Sr. was inside Bennett's apartment Wednesday night and called police to say his son had accidentally shot her while playing with Bailey's handgun. He says the boy got a hold of the 9mm Glock semiautomatic, pointed it at his mother, and shot. Bailey has a concealed carry license for the gun.
It's unclear the nature of Bailey and Bennett's current relationship, but it appears he did not live in the apartment, and Bennett's relatives tell CBS4 they had never even met Bailey.
Police questioned and released Bailey. No charges have been filed yet.
A judge ordered that the child, Troy Bailey Jr., be removed from his father's care. The toddler is currently under the care of Bennett's aunt and uncle. Both say the boy doesn't understand the situation and keeps asking for his mother.
Bennett's family members are having a hard time believing the boy is responsible for the death.
"We're not buying it," Hugh Pearce, Bennett's uncle, told the news station. "We just don't think it happened that way. But we want to see police finish their investigation."
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A local gun owner who spoke with CBS4 said it's doubtful the boy could have pulled the trigger.
"It's highly unlikely that this would have been possible because it requires five pounds of pressure to pull the trigger of a 9mm semiautomatic Glock pistol like this one," Kevin Gleason said. "Even if the gun was chambered and ready to fire, this would have been very difficult. I don't buy this story."
Bennett also had two older daughters from a previous relationship. A native of Jamaica, she worked as a medical technician at North Shore Hospital.