Florida teen Martaevious Santiago shot his 13-year-old sister in the head seconds after she gave him a birthday hug. The 17-year-old teen confessed to pointing a gun at Tedra King’s head but claims the fatal shooting was a horrific and freak accident.
Martaevious Santiago, 17, pointed a semi-automatic handgun at his little sister’s head and then squeezed the trigger while the two were standing inside the kitchen of the family’s home in the Miami area, according to police documents. Santiago, although still a minor, reportedly has a lengthy police record.
“He said, ‘Daddy, I’m sorry. It was an accident. I’m sorry, Dad,'” Vernon Williams, the accused killer’s stepfather, said Santiago told him after the fatal shooting, WSVN 7 News reports. “I can’t fault anyone for this here. It happened.”
The Florida teen claimed the shooting was purely accidental when being interviewed by police investigators. Martaevious Santiago allegedly only pointed the loaded gun at his sister as a joke. The Florida teen has now been charged with manslaughter.
Family members: 17yo “Martaevious Santiago” “loved” his 13yo sister, Teddra–the two were “close”; he’s accused of shooting her in he head pic.twitter.com/cRlNa7FNxB
— Layron Livingston (@LJLiveTV) April 26, 2017
When being interviewed for a WLRN radio station series about youth and gun violence, Martaevious Santiago said he had been to jail 18 times, primarily for robberies. Last December, the Florida teen was shot in the leg while sitting in a car in the driveway of his home. A friend who was with him in the driveway was shot in the head but survived the nearly fatal wound.
In 2016, Martwan Santiago, 15, a younger brother of the accused shooter, was shot four times while playing outside of the same home. One of the bullets pierced his spine and paralyzed the Florida teen from the waist down. The family lives in a Florida City subdivision known as Washington Park.
“I never knew how he [Martwan Santiago] was feeling until I got shot. Now, I feel the pain,” Martaevious said during the radio station interview in February. “Hang around the wrong crowd of people, this is what happens.”
Santiago told Florida City police investigators he got the gun he pointed at his sister’s head from a 14-year-old friend. The police officers have not publicly named the teen who supposedly gave the manslaughter suspect the gun but did reveal the young man had been arrested on an outstanding and unrelated warrant.
— Welcome To Miami (@MiamiBestOf) April 27, 2017
Tedra King was shot and killed around 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening. It is not yet clear who was inside the home at the time of the fatal shooting. Lakesha Bess, the victim’s mother, held her dying daughter after the shooting, the Miami Herald reports.
On the last day of her life, Tedra King had gathered with a group of her 7th-grade friends to discuss the dresses they wanted to wear to the middle school prom. Tedra was reportedly looking forward to wearing a purple dress next year when she was old enough to attend the spring formal. The 13-year-old girl was known to be fond of telling jokes and listening to music by a rapper known as Kodak Black.
Some Florida officials and gun control advocates on social media have cited the fatal shooting as an example of why they feel more restrictions should be placed upon guns, including both the purchase and storage of weapons. Second Amendment supporters have been quick to point out Martaevious Santiago did not purchase his gun legally and claimed his extensive arrest record indicates he would not have followed gun storage laws if such mandates had existed on his 17th birthday when he shot his sister in the head after she gave him a hug.
[Featured Image by CHAPLIA YAROSLAV/Shutterstock]