Seventeen-year-old Martaevious Santiago from Florida fatally shot his sister Tedra King, 13, in the back of her head following a birthday hug on the evening of Apr. 25, according to CBS News Miami. The teen is now facing charges in her death — aggravated manslaughter of a child and possession of a weapon — but claims it was an accident as he was just horsing around while handling the loaded gun with a friend.
“He said, ‘Daddy, I’m sorry. It was an accident. I’m sorry, Dad,’” Martaevious’ stepfather, Vernon Williams, told WSVN 7 News, adding, “I can’t fault anyone for this here. It happened.” Martaevious told authorities that Tedra gave him a birthday hug and he accidentally shot her as she turned away. Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted that the killing is “heartbreaking, reckless gun violence.”
On top of it all, the 17-year-old reportedly has a history of gun violence. In fact, he told the radio station WLRN, in a series on young gun violence survivors, that he had been to jail 18 times, mostly for robberies. But if that’s not sad enough, the kid himself was shot in the leg in his own driveway back in December while his friend was shot in the head and nearly died.
Eleven months earlier, Martaevious’ younger brother Martwan was shot four times, according to the report. One bullet went through his spine and paralyzed him from the waist down. SO awful. But still, those closest to Martaevious were adamant that Tedra’s death was not his fault. “He didn’t mean to kill his sister,” family friend Shamara Perpall told the news outlet. Regardless, the incident is still heartbreaking and could have been avoided.