Mom Charged After Her 5-Year-Old Kills Brother, 4

NJ woman has history of gun charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2016 3:17 AM CDT
Updated Jun 27, 2016 6:21 AM CDT
Itiyanah Spruill.   (Essex County Prosecutor's Office)
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(Newser) – Yet another tragedy has destroyed yet another family after a small child was able to get his hands on a loaded gun. Authorities in New Jersey say 22-year-old Itaniyah Spruill was arrested and charged with a weapons violation and endangering the welfare of a child after her 5-year-old son accidentally shot his 4-year-old brother in the head while he was playing with his mom's gun on Saturday morning, NJ Advance Media reports. The 4-year-old was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark hours after the shooting. Prosecutors say the older boy has been released to the custody of a family member.

Spruill is being held in Essex County Jail, with bail set at $310,000. Sources tell PIX11 that the shooting took place at the halfway house where Spruill, who was enrolled in a mental health program, was staying, and that the boys' grandmother was the one who usually had custody of them. NJ1015 reports that according to court records, Spruill was charged in 2014 with offenses including unlawful possession of a handgun and possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose. Earlier this month, she spent four days in jail in Newark on charges of promoting prostitution. (In April, a mother in Milwaukee was shot dead while driving after her 2-year-old son found a gun in the backseat.)

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