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Bloody Sunday in Chicago : Father of boy, 3, killed in accidental shooting got gun for protection, police say

Father of boy, 3, killed in accidental shooting got gun for protection, police say.


The father of a 3-year-old boy who was accidentally shot and killed on Chicago's
West Side by his older brother told police he got the gun for protection.
Michael Santiago, 25, was charged with felony child endangerment causing death
and bond was set at $75,000 at his first court appearance Sunday. His next court
appearance is scheduled for Oct. 23.


Emotional relatives had nothing to say as they were escorted from court by
anti-gun violence advocate Andrew Holmes.


"The family is totally upset about the whole incident and at the same time
they're trying to raise the money to get this young man out," Holmes said.


Eian H. Santiago, 3, and his 6-year-old brother were playing "cops and
robbers" around 9:05 p.m. Saturday in their home in the 1000-block of North
Francisco Avenue in the city's Humboldt Park neighborhood. The children's
grandfather was watching them while Santiago was at work and his wife went to
the store with the couple's infant daughter to get some milk.


It was after Israel LaSalle says he asked the boys to go downstairs to get
some bleach so he could clean up after the dog that he heard a single 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.


Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the older boy
found a loaded revolver on top of a refrigerator and accidentally shot his younger brother.


LaSalle says ran with Eian in his arms to a nearby hospital. He was then
rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was unaware that
Santiago kept a loaded gun in the house.


"You know how kids are, they get into everything," he said. "There is not a
safe place where you can put a gun where a kid can't reach it or find it."


Investigators say Santiago, a former gang member, says he got the gun for
protection after testifying against another gang member during a murder trial.
Prosecutors say Santiago doesn't have a valid firearm owners identification card
or a valid conceal carry permit for the loaded weapon, which they say he had
left wrapped in a pair of pajama pants on top of the refrigerator and had shown
to his older son last week.


"I don't think that he should be charged for his own child's death. He didn't
kill his child, it was an accident," a neighbor said. "I don't want to blame
him, but in reality there is negligence, negligence in the sense he was not
being careful. Take the gun, hide it somewhere where the child would not find
it."


LaSalle doesn't want to blame Santiago either, nor does he think he should be
charged with a crime, but he does say a loaded gun should have never been within
his grandchildren's reach.


"It's just stupidity to keep something dangerous in the house, when your
family could get hurt," LaSalle said.


Family and friends say Santiago is a hard-working man who is trying to keep
his life on track, though they struggle to cope with the tragedy.


Two people were shot and one woman was killed in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood around 4:30 p.m.


Chicago police say two people were shot and one woman was killed in the Auburn
Gresham neighborhood around 4:30 p.m.

Police say a man and a woman were
in a vehicle in the 7800-block of South Honore when the suspect approached on
foot and fired shots. The woman was shot several times and pronounced dead at
the scene. Friends drove the man to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn,
where his condition stabilized.
The Cook County medical examiner identified the woman killed a Brianna
Jenkins, 19, of the 2100-block of West 69th Street.
Police are investigating the shooting.
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