Family Sues Over Shooting Death of 6-Year-Old Son

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Parents of a 6-year-old boy who was accidentally shot and killed by his 4-year-old neighbor are now suing the neighbor's parents.

Brandon Holt, 6, was playing at his neighbor’s home in Toms River, N.J., at about 7 p.m. on April 8. The boys were playing “pretend shooting” when the younger boy shot Holt in the head with a loaded .22-calibre rifle. He was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., where he died the following day.

Holt’s parents accuse Anthony and Melissa Senatore of recklessness that led to their child’s death. Both parents were home at the time of the accident.

"Given Brandon's horrific death, his suffering before he passed and his extreme young age, not to mention the claims of both parents for their own emotional suffering, the case has a value well into seven figures," said Kevin Parsons, the Holt family's attorney, to the Asbury Park Press. "Clearly, the Holts would rather turn back time and have their son back, but sadly that's not possible."

The six-count civil suit, filed in state Superior Court in Ocean County on Friday, seeks undisclosed damages.

“As a direct and proximate result of the negligence, recklessness, and/or carelessness of the aforementioned defendants, the decedent, Brandon Holt, suffered physical and emotional injuries, considerable pain, anguish and suffering, permanent injuries and conscious pain and suffering, ultimately causing decedent’s death,” the suit states.

Anthony Senatore, 33, was arrested May 13 and charged with child endangerment and failure to secure weapons. Authorities found four shotguns with nearby ammunition accessible to Senatore's three children. He was released on $100,000 bail and faces up to 10 years in jail.

"Outside of the Holt family, no other person or family grieves more over the loss of Brandon," said Santore’s attorney, Robert Ebberup, in a statement. "There is not a one day that passes where my client does not feel the pain and sorrow over the loss of such a wonderful child."

Sources: CTV News, Asbury Park Press