- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - A woman wielding a shotgun forced her 7-year-old son to jump out of a second-floor apartment window early Thursday before she jumped as well in an apparent suicide attempt, police said.

Spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said Michelle Vail, 32, told the child a serial killer was after them to get him to jump out the window. Vail had called police around 6:30 a.m., telling the dispatcher that her ex-boyfriend was at the door in St. Petersburg and she needed help.

Officers arrived at the apartment a short time later, but Vail wouldn’t let them in, saying she didn’t believe they were police, Fernandez said.

“She was babbling incoherently,” Fernandez said. “None of it made any sense.”

As officers walked away, they heard the sound of glass breaking. They returned and could see that Vail had a shotgun and was banging it against a door and a wall.

Fernandez said officers heard the boy scream. They knocked down the door, but by the time they reached a back room, the child and mother had already jumped.

The boy was taken to a hospital, where officials say he is in stable condition and being kept for observation. Vail’s injuries were superficial, according to Fernandez.

Vail is being charged with one count of aggravated child abuse. It wasn’t known whether she’s hired a lawyer who could comment on the case.

The Department of Children and Families has been contacted to coordinate custody of the child when he’s released from the hospital.

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