Two charged in separate deaths of children in Philly this week

Philadelphia Police Department

A police car drives in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Following a deadly few days in which two young children were killed, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced charges on Thursday against two people for their roles in the unconnected incidents.

Rajib Ingram, 9, died Tuesday night after accidentally shooting himself in his East Germantown home.

Syiede Booker — Rajib’s mother’s boyfriend — has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. He also faces two counts each of endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person, on behalf of Rajib, and his 15-year-old brother who found his brother after being shot.

Ashley Hicks, Rajib’s mother, told police the gun belonged to Booker. He denied being the owner of the gun that killed Rajib, according to the Inquirer. 

He also faces charges for lying to police, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice. Booker is being held on bail of $1.1 million.

This is the second death of a child due to an unsecure firearm in Philadelphia in a little over a month. In April, the parents of 4-year-old Kastari Nunez were charged with involuntary manslaughter after she was accidentally shot and killed in her Northeast Philadelphia home.

“An investigation by the Philadelphia Police has determined Syiede Booker not only left a deadly weapon out where this child and his young brother could easily find it, but that he initially lied to investigators about his role in this horrifically tragic and completely preventable shooting,” Krasner said in a statement. “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. Kids and firearms do not belong anywhere near each other.”

Krasner also urged Philadelphia residents who have guns in their homes to make sure they are properly locked and out of the reach of children, which is required by law.

The city offers free gun locks available by mail through Temple University Hospital. You can submit an application for one here.

In a separate incident Wednesday night, a 3-year-old child was killed and six others injured after a woman in a pickup truck driving under the influence at a high speed crashed into multiple vehicles — including a SEPTA bus — in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia.

Brionna Wright of Meadowbrook faces several charges, including third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person and resisting arrest.

“This incident in Mayfair was another completely preventable tragedy that culminated in the violent death of a toddler,” Krasner said. “Just as we are wearing masks to protect others from COVID-19 infection, so should we consider the safety of others every time we get behind the wheel. I urge Philadelphians not to confuse emptier streets and fewer pedestrians with license to speed or drive while intoxicated.”

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