Officials: 4-year-old fatally shoots 2-year-old brother after finding gun in father's bedroom

Officials: 4-year-old fatally shoots 2-year-old brother after finding gun in father’s bedroom

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A 26-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged after investigators say his 4-year-old son got hold of a loaded gun and fatally shot his 2-year-old sibling. 

According to a criminal complaint, police were called to a home on 9th and Madison on Sunday, Aug. 1, and found paramedics performing life-saving measures on a 2-year-old boy. The child was shot in the chest and did not survive. 

Investigators interviewed Giovanni Smith, who stated he left his two children -- ages 2 and 4 -- in his bedroom to watch television while he was on the phone. Smith told officials he closed the bedroom door, leaving the two unsupervised. Shortly after, Smith stated he heard a "pop" and rushed back to the bedroom and found his 2-year-old child was shot and his 4-year-old child was holding the gun and crying. 

Smith then made phone calls to his mother and then 911. 

The criminal complaint says, Smith told authorities he always kept his loaded gun underneath the mattress of his bed with the safety on, but when the 4-year-old child told officials he found it on top of a speaker in the bedroom, Smith admitted he could have left it there. 

Investigators determined the gun belonged to Smith's mother who told authorities she purchased the black 9mm Taurus in June of 2020 for protection, but also allowed Smith to use it. Smith's mother stated approximately six weeks ago, she took in a foster child and asked Smith to take her gun to keep it away from the child.  

Smith has been charged with one count of neglecting a child, resulting in death. 

In court Wednesday, Aug. 4, a judge set his bail at $5,000. 

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16. 

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