Philadelphia police on Thursday charged a North Philadelphia man in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 9-year-old son, who fatally shot himself Tuesday night in his East Germantown bedroom.
Syiede Booker, 30, of the 100 block of West Roosevelt Boulevard, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, recklessly endangering another person, unsworn falsification, tampering with evidence, and obstructing justice in connection with the death of Rajib Ingram, police said.
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Rajib was alone in his bedroom making videos on his phone and handling a gun when he accidentally shot himself, according to a police report obtained by The Inquirer.
Ashley Hicks, the boy’s mother, told police that the gun belonged to her boyfriend, Booker, the report said. Booker told detectives that the gun that killed Rajib did not belong to him, according to the report.
District Attorney Larry Krasner said Thursday that Booker lied to police about the weapon and what Krasner called a “completely preventable” tragedy.
“Syiede Booker not only left a deadly weapon out where this child and his young brother could easily find it, but … he initially lied to investigators about his role in this horrifically tragic and completely preventable shooting,” Krasner said.
“I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak of this child’s mother, or the lifelong trauma of the 15-year-old who heard the deadly shot and found his young brother’s body," he said in a statement. "Kids and firearms do not belong anywhere near each other. I’m again urging Philadelphians with guns at home to keep them locked and out of reach of children.”
After the shooting, Rajib’s 15-year-old brother called his mother and then Booker, neither of whom was at the home at the time of the shooting, the police report said.
Hicks told her older son to move the gun, the report said, and he tossed it into his mother’s bedroom. Booker came to the house, left and shortly afterward returned, the report said.