A Chicago man who bought a revolver to protect his family against his former gang associates faces charges after his 6-year-old son accidentally shot and killed his 3-year-old brother with the weapon, CNN reports.
Michael Santiago, 25, was charged with felony child endangerment causing death at his first court appearance on Oct. 18. Investigators say Santiago is a former gang member who bought the revolver illegally after he testified against another gang member in a murder trial.
Santiago was at work while the children's grandfather, Israel LaSalle, was watching his two sons at Santiago's home at around 9:05 p.m. on Oct. 17, according to ABC 7. LaSalle says he asked the boys to go downstairs to get something to clean up after the dog when he heard a shot ring out.
"I heard a pop, you know, like somebody had shot, so I opened the door and I look out and he was running up the stairs and he told me somebody shot his brother," LaSalle said.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
The 3-year-old, Eian, later died at Mount Sinai Hospital. LaSalle said he was unaware Santiago kept a loaded firearm in the house.
"You know how kids are, they get into everything," LaSalle said. "There is not a safe place where you can put a gun where a kid can't reach it or find it."
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the 6-year-old found the loaded revolver above a refrigerator and accidentally shot his younger brother. Prosecutors say Santiago had shown the weapon to his older son in the week before the shooting.
LaSalle said a loaded gun should have never been within his grandson's reach, although he does not think Santiago should be charged with a crime.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:
Prosecutors will need to prove that Santiago knowingly created an environment that could have resulted in harm to his children, according to CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson.