More Questions Than Answers In Child’s Shooting Death

The story, as I first heard it, went like this:

A mother and her two-year-old toddler were sitting on the bed, while the nine-year-old was sitting on the floor, playing a video game.  The mother had a loaded gun in her hand, but couldn’t find her holster, so she placed the gun (loaded with a round chambered) on the bed next to the two-year-old while she got up to look for her holster.  The two-year-old then picked up the gun, pulled the trigger, shot and killed his nine-year-old brother.  The mother had, in the past, allowed the toddler to pull the trigger on the gun when it was unloaded.

But since I first heard the story Wednesday afternoon, it has changed some.  Now police say there are more questions than answers, and the mother, 28-year-old Wendy Lavarnia and father, convicted felon in two states, Kansas Lavarnia have both been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.  And what led to this turn of events?  Apparently Mr. & Mrs. Lavarnia went to some great lengths to clean up the scene, wasting precious time while their son, Landen, lay dying from a gunshot wound to the head.  Police, in fact, found blood residue in several rooms in the house, as well as in the family car. And lies … initially Ms. Lavarnia claimed her husband was not at home when the shooting occurred, and it was some three hours later when he returned.  But evidence says otherwise … evidence indicates that he actually assisted in the cleanup efforts.  Additionally, when Mr. Lavarnia did return to the house, he had a fresh gunshot wound to his arm that he had tried to disguise by causing additional injury with a screwdriver.  Interesting?  Curiouser and curiouser, if you ask me.

The investigation continues, and all the facts are obviously not known at this time, so I will refrain from saying more about the actual circumstances surrounding the crime. We will never know for certain if young Landen’s life might have been saved if the parents had immediately called for help, rather than wasting precious time destroying evidence by ‘cleaning up’, but we should assume that it is a possibility, which makes the parents guilty of murder no matter who actually pulled the trigger.

It has not been said in whose name the gun was registered, but Mr. Lavarnia, being a convicted felon in both Arizona and Ohio, was prohibited from owning a gun or even being in a home where he knew there was a gun, yet he admits he knew of the gun.  Ms. Lavarnia had allowed the two-year-old to “practice” pulling the trigger of an unloaded gun.  As most of you know, I am against guns in the hands of civilians, however I will not go down that path at this time.  In this case, the gun was not at fault, but two very selfish and stupid people who never should have had children, let alone a gun.

The couple also have a four-year-old who was also allegedly on the bed with the mother, the gun, and his younger brother, and a one-year-old … no word on where the baby was at the time.  The two youngest children were “substance-exposed” newborns, and at one point all four children had been removed from the home by Arizona Department of Child Safety for a period of time, but were eventually returned to the parents.  This, in my book, makes the Department of Child Safety an accessory to murder.

Today there are more questions than answers, and I will update this story when more information is available, but for today, suffice it to say this is a tragedy that has affected many and that will be forever a dark cloud in the lives of the three remaining Lavarnia children.

23 thoughts on “More Questions Than Answers In Child’s Shooting Death

  1. Pingback: The Solution Is NOT Guns! | Filosofa's Word

  2. Unless the gun had a hair trigger, no two-year old would be able to hold a gun, point it at anyone, and still have the strength to pull the trigger. One of the parents held that gun, and for some reason shot their own son. I might think it was an accident IF they had phoned 911 right away, but because they didn’t, I can only believe this was a premeditated act. And this is another reason why I firmly believe what I said in my blog entitled “The Nuclear Family.” And why did they come up with the “nuclear” in family in the first place? Acts like these are like little nuclear bombs going off inside the homes of people who should definitely not have the right to raise their own children. People may think I’m crazy for “attacking” the nuclear family as I do in my blog, “The Nuclear Family” but having grown up in a home filled with so much physical, mental, and sexual abuse makes me feel sorry for every child that is born, as there is just too much potential for a child to have to go through what I went through growing up. I’m definitely not accusing all parents of being unable to raise their children properly, but those that are good parents should be raising children for a living, and getting very well paid for it. Parents like these two are not uncommon, though most don’t outright kill their children. But there are too many who do, even in Canada where we have stricter gun-owning rules than in the States. It still doesn’t stop family annihilators from doing what they think they have to do.
    I don’t believe in the death penalty, not even for people like this, nor do I believe in incarceration because that has become nothing more than an act of public revenge. I DO believe in restorative justice, but what that would look like for this couple, I really don’t know. It was not a crime I considered when I became a believer in restorative justice. This crime and others like it, people who go “postal,” murdering terrorists, these are all crimes for which I would need to have help in establishing a worthy kind of restorative justice. My mind is boggled right now. I will be writing a blog on restorative justice soon, the last part of a series on why capital punishment should be banned all around the world, and every prison or penitentiary or jail should be razed to the ground. That kind of justice is inhumane, and generally teaches the inmate how to hate society even more than they did before they were sentenced. But, really, it all starts at home, with how a child is raised. If the world were to adopt my remedy for deconstructing the nuclear family, it would still take a few generations before there would be a large drop in the crime rate, and an even bigger drop in the number of terrorists and civilian “armies” that proliferate in the States. Unfortunately people today like instant fixes, and there is no instant fix for thousands of years of all kinds of crimes.

    Now, Jill, I have a question I have wanted to ask you for quite some time now. When you make lists like America’s best allies, how come you seldom include Canada on that list? I know that we’re like your little brothers and sisters, but I would think we are amongst your top 5 allies in the world, if not the top ally. Or are Americans just not given the learning about Canada that they are given about England, Ireland, and Germany. Come to think of it, France and Spain and Belgium are seldom, if ever, mentioned on that list. What’s up with that?

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    • Never having shot a gun, I didn’t realize it took more strength than a 2-year-old would have to pull the trigger. Yes, there are many details missing that will have to be put together from the forensic evidence, and I sincerely believe the parents will be the guilty parties. Otherwise, how was there blood residue in multiple rooms? And in the car? And why did they try to ‘clean it up’ while their child lay dying? Too many pieces that simply do not fit together. Like you, I am against capital punishment, but we differ in our opinions about incarceration. But, that said, some form of lifetime punishment for these two is in order if they are found to be guilty.

      As to your question … guilty as charged! You know … I usually get a lot of that data from other sources, and in this case, I really don’t know WHY Canada was not in the top 5! Yes, I think of you guys as one of our top allies, and the first line of defense, given that we share a rather lengthy border! So, I don’t know why … but I am going to look into it! Of course, if we keep emigrating from the U.S. to Canada, and if Trump continues being a jerk to everyone, you guys may decide you don’t WANT to be our allies! 🙂


  3. Tragic for the children.
    Tragic that so many people seem to have a fanatical mindset about gun ownership.
    (I believe the original constitutional foundation had in mind a regulated militia for the defence of a relatively small nation which did not trust a standing army as that was seen as a possible threat to liberty… I daresay that it why some keep their little arsenals, just in case someone tries to impose socialism on them….sigh)

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    • More proof, as if any more were needed, that guns do NOT belong in the hands of civilians. Period. As for these parents … they are not parents. Parents are supposed to protect, nourish and guide their children, not put them on the tracks in front of a speeding train! And you are right about the framer’s idea when they wrote the 2nd Amendment … times were different and we had just won our independence … nobody was quite sure what this new government would do or what threats might be out there. Today, more people have been killed by guns in the U.S. since 1965 than in every war we’ve ever fought. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Very grim. But I learned that Americans are more likely to get up in arms (pun intended) over talk of gun regulation than they are over any other single issue. Why … I believe you could take their children from them with less resistance than you could take their guns! It’s a crazy world these days, Roger! Getting crazier by the day, it would seem.

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          • Yes I got that impression.
            There’s a cultural factor that runs deep from the early days of America which has been distorted into some of sort of semi-religious symbolism; I guess some folk don’t see the same motivation in them that powers IS/ Al-Qaeda.


  4. The whole stories sound completely warped … whatever truth lies behind it, it just proves that there are too many guns in this world – and especially in the US, sorry, guys. It is just too easy to get one. A loaded gun should never been near a child. Period. (And please let no one come with a witty remark like: but what if a police officer approaches a child? … You know full well what I mean!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! Even if it happened just as I first heard it, it is bizarre! And odds are it did not happen that way at all, else why go to such extremes to take hours destroying and manufacturing evidence? Another thing … they say when police arrived at the house, the mother was very calm, not upset at all. Now … NO … just … NO! If my child had a gunshot wound to the head … or even to his little toe … I would be HYSTERICAL!!! A good argument for mandated sterilization!!! Not really, but … well, you understand. 😥


  5. A tragedy waiting to happen in a house with a loose gun.I hear repeatedly that guns don’t kill, people do. Well, guns give them the opportunity and make a quicker job than other ways. I feel sure the founding fathers didn’t envisage this killing when they wrote the second amendment.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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    • I believe that the U.S. has THE most liberal gun laws in the world. At one point, there was even consideration, I understand, of making it a law that every household MUST own at least one firearm. I would have to become a lawbreaker under such a law, as I hate guns and will NEVER own one. However, I have numerous friends who think it is a God-given right and go nowhere without their trusty gun. They do know that they are not allowed in my home with a gun on their person, but still … Personally, I think it is one of our most serious social problems … I was in the bookstore the other day, and a man was perusing magazines. I’m not sure what caught my attention, but I took a look at him and noticed the bulge of a gun under his shirt. I exited the store, but not before registering a complaint. Sigh.

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  6. This is a terribly sad event. I think to my mind it demonstrates how a society let down children. While we may have harsh words for the parent, children don’t have a choice in the life they are brought into. Theirs seems a terrible one. Coming from a country that is not pro-guns two things shock me. That there is such a normality with owning guns. When I see a gun on the hip of a police officer it seems strange to me. The second is the fact that a child would be allowed to touch a gun, loaded or not. Normalising a tool of destruction can do nothing but warp a childs mind. I would be horrified knowing children were in the same house as a gun let alone sitting beside or holding it. I really don’t understand it, while I guess its a criticism of sort, its more that I don’t have a frame of reference that allows me to understand this.

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    • I agree with every word you have said! I do not believe that guns belong in the hands of civilians, and have been known to tell both friends and relatives to leave their guns in their cars or at home if they plan to visit me. In this country, sadly, a gun is as normal as wearing a pair of pants! I am fairly certain that what we have today is NOT what the founding fathers had in mind!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Jill,

    These two should not have children. I am so sad for the 9 year old. What a tragedy! And no, the Mom’s story is pure fiction.Since when do you lay a loaded gun down anywhere in the presence of minors? The two year old need a new home.

    Hugs, Gronda.

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