Mom charged in Jacksonville teen’s shooting ‘surprised’ gun went off

Amanda Guthrie appears in a Duval County courtroom Jan. 20. (4th Judicial State Attorney court feed)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of a Jacksonville teen who died last week after she was shot in the head at home told police her daughter was playing with the handgun in the moments leading up to the shooting.

Amanda Guthrie, 34, said her daughter picked up the gun from the top of a TV in her bedroom, had begun playing with it and then handed the firearm over. She said the gun discharged as her daughter gave the weapon back.

Those details emerged on Monday in an arrest report for Guthrie, who faces criminal charges including aggravated manslaughter in the death of her daughter, according to Duval County court records.

The shooting happened Tuesday at the family’s Arlington home. The girl, identified as Avya Guthrie, was rushed to a hospital and placed on life support. She later died of her injuries, family confirmed.

Ayva Guthrie (Family photo provided to WJXT)

During an interview with police, the child’s mother detailed the sequence of events that led up to the shooting. She said she picked up her daughter from school at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday and took her home.

Guthrie said her daughter followed her into her room and grabbed the handgun from atop the TV set. She told police her daughter began playing with the weapon before she handed it over voluntarily.

“Guthrie took the handgun and put her finger on the trigger and pulled it,” the arrest report said. “She stated she was surprised when the gun went off.”

Struck in the head, the teen collapsed to the floor. Her mother then called 911.

Detectives later recovered a handgun, a shell casing and bullet from Guthrie’s bedroom during a search of the family’s home, along with over 20 grams of marijuana, according to the report.

Jail records show Guthrie is being held without bond at the Duval County jail. She faces felony charges of aggravated manslaughter, child neglect and armed possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana.

In Florida, a gun owner can be charged with culpable negligence if their firearm is left within reach of a child and the child uses it to harm themselves or someone else.