Mom of Englewood teen accused in fatal shooting arrested for letting son keep guns

The mother of a Charlotte County teen accused in the accidental shooting death of his girlfriend has been arrested.

Lori Lynn Wik, 46, was jailed Wednesday morning for letting her 17-year-old son Hayden possess a gun illegally.

According to the arrest affidavit, Wik let her son keep guns in a gun safe in his bedroom closet to keep them away from a younger child. He would occasionally remove them from the safe for cleaning and taking them apart and reassembling them “like his older brothers who are in the military.” Wik said Hayden was taught gun safety at a young age and “has always been very careful when clearing them and cleaning them.”

Hayden Wik (Credit: CCSO booking photo)

Hayden is facing charges of manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a minor. Deputies say he accidentally shot and killed his 16-year-old girlfriend, Autumn Higgs, on March 31.

The arrest affidavit details the evening Autumn was killed, saying she was in Wik’s bedroom watching him and a friend play video games while two firearms lay on the bed. The guns were out because Hayden had planned to go to a gun range with friends but their plans changed. When Hayden went to put the guns away, he pulled the trigger to show it was clear, believing there were no bullets in it, but there were. A bullet struck Autumn below the left eye. He fled the room to get his mother, who ran in and began giving CPR while on a frantic phone call with 911.

Medics eventually terminated lifesaving measures and Autumn was pronounced dead at the scene.

The affidavit states Hayden was extremely upset at the scene and kept saying he wanted to die.

Autumn Higgs (Credit: Englewood Sun)

He told investigators he and Autumn had been arguing shortly before the shooting. He believed Autumn put ammunition in the gun while he was in the shower because she wanted to harm herself. He said he had removed the ammunition from the guns before he and Autumn and a friend went out for a couple of hours prior to returning to his house.

He filed a written plea of “not guilty” last week.

Lori Lynn Wik was released from the Charlotte County Jail on a $5,000 bond shortly after being booked. Her arraignment is scheduled for July.
Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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