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Fla. father claims 2-year-old shot, killed mother, loses custody of child

Julia Bennett
CBS4
Fla. father claims 2-year-old shot, killed mother, loses custody of child
Julia Bennett
WFOR

(CBS/AP/WFOR) FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida man who claims his 2-year-old son accidentally shot and killed his own mother lost custody of the child in a hearing Friday.

The father did not attend the hearing where a judge gave custody to the child's great aunt and great-grandmother while police investigate the incident.

The father, who was not married to the 33-year-old mother, Julia Bennett, was reportedly visiting her Miramar, Fla. apartment when the shooting occurred Wednesday night.

Police report that the father called 911 Wednesday saying his son had accessed his 9mm semiautomatic glock pistol and accidentally fired it, killing the boy's mother. The father has a concealed weapons permit for the firearm, according to the Miramar Police.

The father has not been charged, but Bennett's relatives say they do not believe the father's story, reports CBS station WFOR.

"We're not buying it," the mother's uncle, Hugh Pearce said. "We just don't think it happened that way. But we want to see police finish their investigation."

According to her family, Bennett is from Jamaica and attended school while working at North Shore Hospital. Bennett's relatives say they have never met the father and told the judge they did not want him in their home for supervised visits because they were afraid of him.

Pearce told CBS4 that the child is doing fine.