Dad Accused Of Shooting 2-Year-Old Son To Death

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A New York toddler who was shot in the head on Oct. 20 has died.

According to investigators, 2-year-old Zayden Phillips of Rochester was shot by his father, Charles Timothy Phillips, the Daily Mail reports.

Zayden died of his injuries on Oct. 24, reports the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. He was the youngest of 11 children.

The father was charged with first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and pleaded not guilty on Oct. 21.

Phillips, a convicted felon, is prohibited from owning a gun, but police recovered a 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol from his home on the day of the shooting.

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"I'm upset, and a little shaky," said Zayden's aunt, Phyllis Green, in an interview with the Democrat and Chronicle. Her own child was shot to death in 2006. "So when I hear about family getting shot, it's very stressful," she added. 

At the time of the shooting, Zayden's mother had been on a school field trip to a pumpkin patch with another of her sons, said Green.

"It's a hard road," she said. "It's a tough pill to swallow and all we can do is keep praying."

She described Zayden as "a sweet little boy, your average two-year-old."

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Another aunt, Precious Wilson, added that Zayden "was just so full of life, so playful." 

She said that Zayden was brain dead following the shooting, but remained on a machine.

"That was my sister's decision, yes," she said. "He really died a couple of days ago, but we kept him on life support long enough to harvest his organs."

Phillips was previously convicted of first-degree attempted robbery and sentenced to three and a half years in prison, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

He was released on parole in December 2013 after serving two-thirds of his sentence, but was imprisoned again in August 2015 for violating parole, and then re-released in April 2016. 

According to official reports, his parole supervision expired two weeks before the shooting occurred. 

Following Zayden's death, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said additional charges against Phillips would be decided by a grand jury. 

A GoFundMe account was launched to help raise enough money to bury the child with dignity. As of Oct. 25, the campaign had raised $665 of its $3,000 goal.

Phillips is scheduled to appear again in Rochester City Court on Oct. 26.

Sources: Daily Mail, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Facebook and Monroe County Sheriff's Office via Daily Mail

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