A three-year-old boy from Chicago has died after he was accidentally shot by his six-year-old brother while the two were playing a game of “cops and robbers.” According to Associated Press, the elder boy got hold of a gun that was in the possession of the children’s father and used the weapon to fatally shoot the younger sibling. The three-year-old who died in the tragic shooting incident has been identified as Eian Santiago. The name of the six-year-old boy has not been released. Police have however arrested the father of the two children and charged him with child endangerment. The father has been identified as 25-year-old Michael Santiago. He is currently in police custody.
According to BuzzFeed, the incident happened on Saturday evening when the two kids were playing “cops and robbers” and the elder boy came across a loaded gun that was placed on top of a refrigerator. The boy took the gun and accidentally shot Eian in the face. The seriously injured boy was taken to a hospital where he died a few hours later.
Police officials arrested the father of the children. After a brief investigation, it became evident that the gun that was in possession of Michael Santiago was illegally obtained. He also admitted to investigating officers and told them that he had received the weapon from gang members.
In a court hearing on Sunday, Assistant state’s Attorney Joseph DiBella revealed that the gun used by the boy was kept wrapped in pajama pants atop the refrigerator. In fact, he also revealed that it was Santiago who had told the elder boy about the gun and even showed the gun to the boy. Santiago, according to police officials is a former gang member and allegedly kept the gun for his own protection- albeit illegally. Michael has also made a videotaped confession to the investigating officers.
“He kept the gun for protection because he was a former gang member who snitched on a gang member in a murder trial,” The Chicago Tribune reported.
Meanwhile, a judge has set Michael Santiago’s bail amount at $75,000.
This is not the first time The Inquisitr has reported about a tragic incident of this nature. Earlier this year in January, we had reported about a five-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his nine-month-old brother in Northwest Missouri. A few months prior to that, back in November 2014, we had reported about another tragic incident in which 12-year-old boy fatally shot and killed his own nine-year-old sister in New Jersey.
According to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy of the Chicago Police Department, this latest incident is one more example of the effects of the influx of illegal weapons into Chicago. McCarthy, who has been voicing concerns regarding the rising gun culture in the city for several years went on to add;
“It’s real simple. If that gun is not in the house that kid is alive today. We see this happen over and over and over again.”
The incident also brings to light the serious problem of illegal guns in Chicago. According to McCarthy, Chicago police officers routinely seize more illegal guns from there than any other city in the United States – including Los Angeles and New York. In 2015 alone, more than 5,000 illegal guns were seized in Chicago, he added. The large number of guns is also complemented by another grim statistic. Chicago also boasts of more homicide incidents that any other city in the U.S. From the beginning of the year till October 4, the city reported a total of 370 homicide cases – a sharp increase from 2014 when 306 cases were reported for the same period. There has also been an increase in the number of shooting incidents in the city with the count rising to 1,870 from 1,581 last year.
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