Rajib Ingram, 9, was alone in his East Germantown bedroom, making videos on his phone and handling a gun — that has since gone missing — when he accidentally shot himself to death Tuesday night, according to a police report obtained by The Inquirer.
The boy’s mother told police the gun belonged to her boyfriend, police said. Both have been interviewed in the ongoing investigation.
The tragedy unfolded shortly before 9:30 p.m., when the explosion of a gunshot echoed from the family’s apartment in the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Champlost Homes on North 20th Street.
The child’s mother, Ashley Hicks, had left Rajib alone with his 15-year-old brother while she sat outside with neighbors, according to the police report and witnesses.
The younger boy had been using the video-sharing app Tik Tok on his phone when the gun fired, according to the police report. Rajib’s older brother told police he had been playing a video game in his room when he stopped to check on his brother, then returned to his own room. Soon, he heard a gunshot, went to Rajib’s room and found him with a gunshot wound to the right side of his face, the report said.
“He then called his mother, who was at a neighbor’s house, then dialed 911. When his mother came to the house she told [the brother] to move the gun. He stated that he threw the gun on the bed in his mother’s bedroom,” the report said.
The mother’s boyfriend, Syiede Booker, was also called and came to the house, left and shortly afterward returned, the report said. During an interview with detectives, Booker denied the gun was his, the report said. The weapon has not been found.
Rajib’s mother told detectives the gun belonged to Booker, the report said. As of Wednesday afternoon, no one had been arrested.
Rajib Ingram is the second child to be fatally shot at home since Philadelphia’s stay-at-home order was put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In April, Kastari Nunez, 4, was fatally shot in her home in the Far Northeast. Her parents have been charged in her death.
Shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday, Hicks returned to her home and parked her gray Mitsubishi Outlander at the curb. “Who’s ever held responsible for it I want them to … pay. That was my baby,” Hicks said, breaking into sobs on the sidewalk. She declined to comment further.
Cathy Williams, a neighbor, said she had lived across the street
from the family since Rajib was 2.
"I watched him grow up,” Williams said as she stood on her front steps looking at Hicks’ home, the front door area adorned with stuffed animals and artificial long-stemmed roses. “He was a very loving kid. A playful child. Never started fights. Good, well-mannered child.”
Rajib’s death came during a spate of violence in the city: Four men were injured Tuesday night in a drive-by shooting in North Philadelphia, a man was slain early Wednesday in Port Richmond, and three men were injured during a shooting four hours later in Kensington.
In the slaying, a 39-year-old man was shot in the 2700 block of East Somerset Street at 3:47 a.m., police said. A gun was recovered and a 37-year-old man was arrested, police said.
Just before 8 a.m. Wednesday, police said, three men at 1830 Hart Lane in Kensington were shot. All three were transported to hospitals, where they were listed in stable condition with gunshot wounds, police said.
Police are still investigating the Tuesday night drive-by shooting of four men near 23rd and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia. The 10 p.m. gunfire left a 31-year-old man in critical condition with a wound to the shoulder, police said.