Man charged in accidental shooting released on bond

Michael Santiago. Photo courtesy of CPD

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] man charged with child endangerment for the accidental fatal shooting of his 3-year-old son was released from jail.

Michael Santiago, 25, of the 1000 block of N. Francisco reportedly stored a loaded Smith & Wesson .32-caliber revolver wrapped in a pair of pajama pants on top of a refrigerator in his family’s garden apartment, police say.

On Saturday morning one of his children, a six-year-old boy, picked up the handgun. The two boys had been playing cops and robbers when the older boy saw the gun, grabbed it and accidentally shot his younger brother, 3-year-old Eian H. Santiago, in the head at 9:05 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The victim was carried by his grandfather to nearby Norwegian American Hospital and then was taken to Mt. Sinai hospital where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.

Santiago was taken into custody and appeared in bond court at 26th and California on Oct. 18. There Cook County Judge James Brown charged him with felony child endangerment causing death and set his bond at $75,000. Prosecutors say Santiago doesn’t have a concealed carry license or a firearm owner’s identification card.

Santiago had reportedly shown his 6-year-old son where the gun was kept and told authorities he had purchased the gun off street for protection because he was a former gang member who “snitched” on another gang member in a murder trial, said a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Santiago posted 10 percent bail and was released this week, according to Cook County Circuit Court records. He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday.

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