Dad Arrested After Boy, 6, Shoots Brother Dead

Chicago toddler shot during game of 'cops and robbers'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2015 1:11 AM CDT
Michael Santiago is seen in this photo provided by Chicago police.   (Chicago Police)

(Newser) – A Chicago man whose 3-year-old son was shot dead by his 6-year-old brother not only kept his illegal gun on top of the fridge, he told the older boy where it was, authorities say. Michael Santiago, 25, was charged with felony child endangerment causing death after the boy shot his brother dead during a game of "cops and robbers" on Saturday night, ABC7 reports. The prosecutor says Santiago bought the gun off the street "for protection because he was a former gang member who snitched on a gang member in a murder trial," and he kept it loaded on top of the fridge, wrapped in a pair of pajama pants, reports the Chicago Tribune. The prosecutor says a week before the shooting, Santiago showed the older boy the gun and told him it "was only to be used by adults."

At the time of the shooting, Santiago was at work in a pizza restaurant and the children's mother had gone out to buy milk, leaving the children in the care of their grandfather, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The grandfather was upstairs when he heard the shot and carried 3-year-old Eian to a hospital a block away. Santiago, who has no prior felony convictions, is being held on $75,000 bond, ABC7 reports. The family says the 6-year-old is doing OK. "He doesn't even remember. He doesn't know nothing about it. He thinks his brother is in the hospital sick," the boy's step-grandfather tells the Tribune. (At least 43 people in the US have been shot by toddlers so far this year.)

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