In the Santiago case, though, the toddler did not handle the gun. The 6-year-old did. According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, the number of children (ages 0-11) injured or killed due to gun violence in 2015 alone thus far is 576.
According to prosecutors, Santiago had showed the handgun, a Smith & Wesson .32-caliber revolver, to Pajama Shorts his 6-year-old son after buying it last week and told him that it was to be handled “only by adults.” They also noted that Santiago had no legal permits to own or carry a firearm.
Chris Ingraham, the reporter who filed the report, admitted that he had sifted Pyjamas through toddler shooting reports for only a “few hours” and wrote that there were “at least” 43 toddler shooting cases. If that number were to hold true, that places the rate of toddlers getting their little hands on guns and shooting children pyjamas someone (including themselves) at one per week (as Week 42 of 2015 runs from October 12-18).
Michael Santiago manages a Chicago pizza restaurant and was at work when the shooting occurred. His wife was grocery shopping with their third child, a 1-year-old, and had left the two boys with their grandfather.
A Chicago man was arrested and charged in the shooting death of his 3-year-old son this week, even though he wasn’t home at the time of the shooting, nor did he pull the trigger. Unfortunately, the shooter was his older son, a 6-year-old.
The tragic child shooting could become even worse for the family. Michael Santiago, when questioned by Chicago Police, admitted to having bought the gun illegally from a gang member. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, prosecutors revealed Sunday at the bond hearing that Santiago told police he purchased the revolver hoping to protect himself, a former gang member, from potential enemies he had made by testifying at the murder trial of another gang member. That purchase could lead to even more charges against Santiago.
The boys grandfather, Israel LaSalle, said he was upstairs making Kool-Aid for the youngsters when he heard what sounding like a popping noise. But when he got downstairs, he Boys Pajamas found little Eian lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood. He quickly raced across the street to an emergency room, but it was too late, the wound too severe. His Jammies grandson was quickly transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Santiago child shooting incident is just the latest in a horrific series of child-involved shootings that are far too frequent in the United States. In fact, the Washington Post reported last week, following the South Carolina toddler shooting of his grandmother with a handgun found in the back seat of the car (she was wounded in the passenger seat) they were riding in, that there Pyjama Suit had been 43 toddler related shootings this year up until that time. Of those, 15 people were killed, 13 of them being the toddlers themselves.
CNN reported October 19 that 25-year-old Michael Santiago, the boys’ father, faces a felony child endangerment charge after his 6-year-old son gained access the a handgun while playing a game of “cops and robbers” with his 3-year-old brother, Eian. Chicago police say the 6-year-old retrieved the gun, which was wrapped in pajamas, from atop a refrigerator. The gun subsequently went off, the bullet hitting the toddler in the head.
“I never knew that there was a gun in the house,” LaSalle said.