The father of a 9-year-old girl who died Wednesday in an accidental shooting by another child inside her North Philadelphia home has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and related offenses, authorities said Thursday evening.
Blake Davis, 39, also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, two firearms violations, including one for being prohibited from possessing a gun because of a prior criminal conviction, corruption of minors, and reckless endangerment, police said.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to a report of a shooting in the 2300 block of North Bouvier Street. Officers found the girl in a back bedroom with a gunshot wound to the right side of her head. Police rushed the girl in critical condition to Temple University Hospital. She was transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where she died at 1:50 p.m.
Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at the scene on Wednesday that authorities received a call from a 12-year-old who also was in the house. She said there were a total of three children that had been left unattended in the house as well as two guns.
Patrick Flood, 40, said he has known Davis and the two have been like brothers since they were 10 years old. Davis, Flood said, does construction and recently moved into the house on North Bouvier with a girlfriend and the children. He has custody of the kids, but the mother of the children lives nearby, he added.
Flood said the 9-year-old girl’s name was Nessya (he was unsure about the spelling), but she was called “Butterfly.” She was quiet and sweet, he said.
Authorities have not released the name of the girl.
A spokesperson for District Attorney Larry Krasner said the other children in the house were the girl’s brother and a cousin.
Krasner said in a statement: “I offer my deepest condolences to the Davis family for the terrible loss of a beloved child. This tragedy was 100% preventable. Kids should not be allowed unsupervised access to firearms, period. We can hold both that a father has suffered a horrific tragedy, and that he is also criminally responsible for this loss.”
Court records show that Davis has served several prison sentences for convictions involving drug offenses, as well as convictions for simple assault, resisting arrest, and contempt of court.
Between 2001 and 2012, Davis was arrested and convicted in Philadelphia eight times, mostly for drug dealing but also for simple assault and contempt of court, according to online court records. Prior to Thursday’s arrest, Davis’s last brush with the law was in January 2012 for drug dealing, for which he was sentenced in February 2013 to two to four years in prison followed by three years’ probation.