SLATINGTON, Pa. - A Lehigh County mother sits in a jail cell. She's charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of her 19-month-old son. Officers say she was trying to unload a handgun she planned to sell, when it fired and killed her toddler.
The family of 19-month-old Anthony Pallone Junior will never see his smiling face again. Through a spokesperson, the boy's father says he's heartbroken and Anthony's death is incomprehensible.
Investigators arrested the boy's mother, 26-year-old Holly Pallone, Saturday night after they say Anthony was shot inside a Lehigh County apartment.
"I seen these flashing lights up here behind my dad's place," described neighbor Ed Ziegler. "Next thing you know I seen police cars coming up and one after another."
When police got to the second floor apartment on North Walnut Street in Slatington, they say they found Anthony in a pack and play. He was shot in the head.
Court records outline how Pallone told police she planned to sell a .44 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver for $200 to a man she used to buy drugs from. The handgun belongs to the man Pallone and her son live with. He wasn't home at the time of the shooting.
According to authorities Pallone planned to sell the handgun for $200 to an Allentown man she used to buy drugs from known as 'Low'. 'Low' was going to come to the apartment later Saturday night or early Sunday morning to buy it.
Arrest paperwork says Pallone sat on her bed and tried to unload the handgun, even though she told officers she didn't know how to remove the bullets. According to the documents, that's when the gun fired. The bullet then reportedly went through the mattress and into the pack and play crib Anthony was lying in about five feet away.
Just before midnight Saturday, investigators say Pallone called 911 telling dispatchers "There was a gun and it went off and hit my son in the forehead."
"It's something that shoulda never happened," said Ziegler. "It was the worst thing that I heard because I hate it when that happens to young kids."
Pallone is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment. She's being held in prison on $1-million bail with a preliminary hearing set for Monday, October 15th.
Meantime, Anthony's father is in the process of planning his son's funeral.
Allentown, PA 18102