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Funeral Held For Miramar Mom Allegedly Shot By Tot

MIRAMAR (CBS4) – The funeral service for a Miramar mother who was allegedly shot by her two-year-old son was held Saturday.

According to the family of 33-year-old Julia Bennett, the funeral service was held at the Grace United Community Church at 901 Northwest 183rd Street in Miami. The service began at 11 a.m.

At the beginning of this week, Miramar Police released the chilling 911 call made by a man claiming his toddler fatally shot the boy's mother.

And relatives of the boy's mother tell CBS4's Peter D'Oench that while the father of boy seems genuinely upset, they are now wittholding their opinions as to whether the father is at fault and whether he should face charges.

"He has a lot of explaining to do," said the victim's uncle Hugh Pearce. But he told D'Oench after listening to the 911 tape, "It's up to the investigators. It's up to the police. I can't say very much right now."

In the recording, the father, who has not been identified, frantically asked for help from the operator after Bennett was gunned down with a 9 millimeter, semi-automatic glock pistol.

Operator: OK, who shot her?

Caller: I was trying to take the gun from him, I was trying to take the gun from him.

Operator: From who? From who?

Caller: From my son, from my son.

Operator: Ok so he accidentally shot her?

Caller: No, I took it from him.. (inaudible). I can't believe it, pray to God

The call was placed to emergency on April 20 around 7 p.m. from the Ashlar Apartments off Pembroke Road near University Drive.

Operator: Where is she shot?

Caller: She's shot in the back of the arm. The back. In the back of the arm.

Caller: God help me, god help me.

Operator: Just calm down, ok we're getting rescue on the way ok?

Fire Rescue rushed Bennett to the hospital, where she died from her injuries.

"I can't deal with it, I can't deal with it," said Laura Henry, a close friend of Julia Bennett, who joined Bennett's loved ones in listening to the 911 tape. They asked that CBS4 play the tape for them.

The child's hands were swabbed by police to test for gunshot residue. Those results have not been released.

Bennett's relatives originally told CBS4 that they have serious doubts about the boy's father's claims that the toddler pulled the trigger.

"We're not buying it," Bennett's uncle Hugh Pearce told CBS4's Peter D'Oench. "We just don't think it happened that way. But we want to see police finish their investigation."

The child has been placed with Bennett's relatives while police conduct their investigation.

"My understanding is that he does not understand what happened," Pearce said. "He thinks his Mom has gone to work…I feel the family will get through this. The family will heal."

They hope that her father will be flying in for services from New York. It's not known if Bennett's mother will be able to make the trip from Jamaica.

CLICK HERE to listen to the entire 911 call.


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