Philadelphia: 4-year-old Playing With Gun On Thanksgiving Shoots 2-year-old Cousin; Parents Arrested

Omar Laboy-Vega and Rachel Santiago have both been charged in connection with the shooting of a 2-year-old. (Philadelphia Police Department)
Omar Laboy-Vega and Rachel Santiago have both been charged in connection with the shooting of a 2-year-old. (Philadelphia Police Department)

When authorities responded to the Philadelphia home on Thursday afternoon, they discovered a young child who had been shot, according to police.

The victim was just a toddler, police say.

And the person who investigators say pulled the trigger wasn’t much older. Authorities say the 2-year-old boy was shot by his 4-year-old cousin, who was apparently playing with the gun before it discharged, according to reports.

“The mother was preparing Thanksgiving dinner when the two kids were playing with the gun,” Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters, according to the Philadelphia Media Network.

Rachel Santiago and Omar Laboy-Vega are now facing criminal charges in connection with the incident, the Philadelphia Police Department said in a statement. Local outlets reported that Santiago and Laboy-Vega, both 34, are the 2-year-old’s mother and father, though police did not respond to a message from The Washington Post seeking to confirm that Friday evening.

The shooting happened about 4:20 p.m. Thursday, according to police. Officers who arrived at the scene discovered that the 2-year-old had gunshot wounds to his chest and finger.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the complainant was shot by his 4-year-old cousin,” police said in the statement, which noted that the investigation was still ongoing.

The injured boy was rushed to a hospital, then transferred to another medical facility. He was listed in critical but stable condition, police said.

“Our main concern, of course, is for the 2-year-old,” Small told a CBS affiliate, “but also we want to know how this 4-year-old was able to get ahold of this gun that was loaded.”

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SOURCE: Sarah Larimer 
The Washington Post