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Police release 911 recording of 9-year-old Phoenix boy shot in head

Wendy Lavarnia, left, and Kansas Lavarnia (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photos)
LISTEN: Police release 911 tape of 9-year-old Phoenix boy shot in head

PHOENIX — Police released the 911 recording Wednesday from a call about a 9-year-old Phoenix boy who was shot in the head and whose parents were charged with his murder.

In the recording, Wendy Lavarnia can be heard yelling, crying and asking the dispatcher to send help to a house near 35th Avenue and Cactus Road.

She sounded muffled during several parts of the recording, but can be heard saying her 9-year-old son, later identified as Landen, has been shot in the head.

Lavarnia, 28, told the 911 operator the same story she told the police: She had taken her gun out and left it on the bed, where her 2-year-old picked it up and fired, striking Landen.

“I got the gun down and put it on the bed like an idiot,” she said in the recording.

Operators walked her through some basic first aid, including giving CPR.

Police officers responded to the house within minutes of the call being placed.

However, after officers arrived on the scene, it appeared Lavarnia’s story may not be true.

Court documents released last month said officers found extensive blood residue in several areas of the home and a car owned by the family.

A statement from an investigating officer said a “significant amount of time and effort was taken prior to contacting emergency services. The amount of clean up evidenced could not have been accomplished during the two-minute police response time.”

The documents also said Kansas Lavarnia, Wendy’s 31-year-old husband, had suffered a gunshot wound that was bandaged with tissue and packing tape. He would not tell police how he received the injury.

Police said at the time that they had also found drugs inside the house.

According to DCS officials, the Lavarnia family had been contacted twice before, once in 2014 and once in 2015, after officials learned Wendy had given birth to a “substance-exposed newborn.”

Both Wendy and Kansas Lavarnia were charged with first-degree murder. Kansas was also charged with child abuse and hindering prosecution.

KTAR’s Corbin Carson and Martha Maurer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.