Target: Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez
Goal: Punish to the full extent of the law the father who allegedly left his loaded gun on top of the fridge where his 6-year-old son reportedly found it and shot his 3-year-old brother.
A Chicago father is being charged with child endangerment after his 6-year-old son allegedly found the man’s loaded gun wrapped in pajama pants and sitting on top of the refrigerator and shot his 3-year-old brother while the boys were playing cops and robbers.
The father, Michael Santiago, reportedly told police that he used to be a member of the gang Spanish Cobras, so he bought the gun from a fellow gang member for protection. The boys’ grandfather, Israel LaSalle, was reportedly watching the boys while Santiago was at work and the boys’ mother was out with a younger child. LaSalle allegedly said this is why parents shouldn’t keep guns in the house.
Santiago had apparently shown the 6-year-old boy the gun just a week before the tragedy to explain to the boy that the gun was for adults only. Obviously this and the hiding place on top of the fridge was not enough to keep the boys from the dangerous weapon.
Leaving a loaded gun within reach of children is completely reckless and an innocent boy had to die because of it. Urge officials to charge the father to the full extent of the law for his alleged negligence.
Dear State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez,
An innocent 3-year-old died because of the alleged recklessness of his former gang member father who left his loaded gun on top of the refrigerator where his 6-year-old son retrieved it and shot his younger brother while playing. The boys’ grandfather was reportedly supposed to be watching them but apparently they were out of his sight and hearing when this tragedy occurred.
Children continue to die because their parents leave dangerous weapons within a child’s reach, yet the consequences for these parents’ actions may not be enough. I urge you to punish the boys’ father, Michael Santiago, under the full extent of the law for his alleged irresponsible actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Stephen Zuppo