A 6 year old boy accidentally shot and killed his 3 year old brother while playing "cops and robbers" with a gun their father told investigators he had obtained illegally from a gang member, Chicago police said Sunday.
Police said the two boys were playing Saturday evening when the older boy reached on top of the refrigerator and grabbed the loaded handgun and then accidentally shot 3-year-old Eian Santiago in the face. The boy was rushed to a hospital, where he died later that night.
Police subsequently arrested the boys' father, 25-year-old Michael Santiago, on a felony child endangerment charge. During a court hearing on Sunday, Assistant State's Attorney Joseph DiBella said that Santiago bought the gun off the street, kept it "wrapped in pajama pants on top of the refrigerator" and even showed the boy where the gun was.
"He kept the gun for protection because he was a former gang member who snitched on a gang member in a murder trial," the Chicago Tribune reported DiBella as saying in court. Santiago had told police about the gun in a videotaped confession, DiBella said.
Judge James Brown set Santiago's bail at $75,000. Santiago was represented by the county public defender's office. The office was closed on Sunday and could not be reached for comment.