32-year-old Michelle Vail, from St. Petersburg, Florida, is being charged with one count of aggravated child abuse after wielding a shotgun and convincing her 7-year-old son, Oscar Vail, that there were serial killers after them and that they needed to jump out of the window – on the 2nd floor – to survive.
Police received a 911 call from Ms. Vail at approximately 6 am, claiming that her ex-boyfriend was at the door and that she was scared he was going to kill her. She also told them she was armed. When officers arrived at the scene, Vail wouldn’t let them in. She didn’t believe they were actually police officers.
Police noted that she seemed mentally unstable and distraught. “She was babbling incoherently. None of it made any sense,” St. Petersburg Police Department spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said.

Officers then heard glass break and could see Michelle had a shotgun and was slamming it into a door and a wall. But when they heard 7-year-old Oscar scream, they knocked the door down. They tried to reach the back room in time, but Michelle and her son had already jumped – the child being sent out first.

Police have determined it to be a failed suicide attempt on Michelle’s part.

They’ve both been taken to a hospital, where her son is in stable condition but being kept for observation, while Ms. Vail’s injuries have been described as superficial.

The Department of Children and Families has been contacted to arrange custody for Oscar upon his release. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Child Protection Investigation Division is now investigating.

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