Little Boy Fatally Shot 3-Year-Old Brother While Playing With Dad's Gun
A 6-year-old Chicago boy accidentally killed his 3-year-old brother after obtaining his father's gun to use in a game.
According to The Washington Post, the two boys were playing cops and robbers at their Humboldt Park, Chicago home at around 9 pm Saturday when the older boy decided a gun would be an appropriate accessory.
So, he climbed to the top of the refrigerator and found his father's loaded .32-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver "wrapped in pajama pants." He fired at his brother's head as his brother ate macaroni and cheese.
The boys' father, 25-year-old Michael Santiago, was arrested and charged with child endangerment -- a felony.
His son was shot while he was at work, and the victim's mother was at a store getting milk. The only adult in the home was Santiago's father, Hector Salgado.
Santiago, a former gang member, told police he bought the gun off the street for protection because he testified against a fellow gang member during a murder trial.
Prosecutor Joseph DiBella reportedly told the court,
Santiago, who works six days a week at a pizzeria, reportedly believed the refrigerator was tall enough to prevent his kids from accessing the weapon.
The prosecution asked for Santiago's bail to be set at $1 million, but a sympathetic Judge James Brown chose $75,000, so the father could mourn the death of his son.
Of the older brother, Salgado told Chicago Tribune,
Santiago could spend between two and 10 years in prison if convicted.
Citations: Boy, 6, fatally shoots toddler brother while playing 'cops and robbers,' dad arrested (The Washington Post), Grandfather: 6-year-old 'doesn't even remember' fatally shooting 3-year-old brother (Chicago Tribune)