The 32-year-old defendant allegedly left a loaded 9-mm handgun in the Newark home of his girlfriend, whose 12-year-old son reportedly found the gun and accidentally shot his young sister. The incident occurred in November.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. She was rushed to nearby University Hospital, where she was initially listed in critical condition. Her condition has since stabilized; doctors now expect her to survive.
Investigators determined that the handgun belonged to the suspect. According to police, the handgun had been reported stolen out of Alabama.
A warrant was later issued for the suspect’s arrest. He was eventually apprehended by members of the Newark Major Crimes Unit and U.S. Marshals.
The 33-year-old mother of the victim was also placed under arrest and charged with weapons offenses and child endangerment. She already pleaded not guilty to the charges.
While the defendant awaits trial, he is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark on $200,000 bail. Meanwhile, the two children were removed from the home by the NJ Department of Youth and Family Services.
To learn more about this case, access the NJ.com article entitled “East Orange Man Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Shooting of 9-Year-Old Newark Girl.”