A multiple-count criminal complaint was filed today against the parents of a Vacaville toddler who was accidentally shot to death by her 8-year-old brother last month.

Solano County Deputy District Attorney Jeff Kauffman said today that his office had filed felony child endangerment charges against Michael and Daniela Shanahan of Vacaville in connection with the Sept. 23 shooting death of their 2-year-old daughter, Ayana Shanahan. Each parent faces two counts of child endangerment resulting in death or injury — one count each for the endangerment of their 8-year-old son, identified only as "A.R.", and one count for the endangerment of the little girl.

In addition, both will be charged with first-degree criminal storage of a firearm accessible to a child.

Daniela Shanahan also was charged with being a previously convicted felon with firearms and ammunition in her home. She reportedly had suffered a prior conviction for felony drunken driving in Napa County.

Both parents met with Vacaville police Monday and later were booked at Solano County Jail in Fairfield. Michael Shanahan, 28, was held on $36,666 bail, while Daniela, 26, was held on $43,333 bail. They're expected to be arraigned in Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield at 1:30 p.m. today.

Kauffman said the Shanahans could face roughly 12 to 13 years in state prison if convicted on all counts.


Advertisement

According to Vacaville police, Ayana Shanahan suffered a single gunshot wound to the head about 2 p.m. Sept. 23 when her older brother found his father's loaded handgun on the parents' bed and began playing with it. Vacaville Fire Department paramedics were summoned a short time later and administered emergency medical care, but the toddler subsequently was pronounced dead at VacaValley Hospital.

After the shooting, police investigators said they believed the brother did not realize the semi-automatic handgun was loaded, or that it was a real gun. The boy remains in the care f Child Protective Services, according to Vacaville Police Sgt. Jeff King.

A subsequent police search of the home reportedly turned up several firearms, some of them believed to have been previously inherited from other family members.

No arraignment date has yet been set for the couple in Solano County Superior Court.