FOX 32 / SUN-TIMES - Two Englewood parents are facing charges after their 3-year-old son was accidentally shot while playing cops and robbers inside a home where child protection officials have been regular visitors.
Michael D. Riley, 34, was charged Friday with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and four misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County state’s attorney’s Office. Riley is scheduled to appear in bond court on Saturday.
Gwenddolyn Holloway, 28, was charged Friday with four misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, according to police.
Riley has previous drug convictions and a pending misdemeanor aggravated assault case from earlier this year, according to court records.
The shooting happened just before 5 p.m. Thursday in a home in the 6200 block of South Aberdeen, police said.
The boy was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, authorities said.
Chicago Police said the 3-year-old boy was the youngest of at least four children left home unsupervised in an apartment without heat or hot water — “deplorable conditions,” according to a CPD spokesman.
The four other siblings, who range in age from 5 to 11, have been placed in the care of a relative under a DCFS monitored plan, a statement from the Department of Children and Family Services said.
Police said Holloway had a Firearm Owner Identification Card. Authorities say she owned a .40 caliber handgun that was found in an unlocked lock box. A spent shell casing found next to the boy matches the caliber of the weapon recovered.
DCFS is investigating the shooting, according to the agency, and both parents are being investigated for allegations of neglect.
“DCFS has had prior contact with this family, including an indicated finding against the father for neglect in 2009, and two indicated findings against the mother for neglect in February 2013 and March 2013,” the statement from the agency said.
DCFS “took custody of one of the children” after the March 2013 finding due to the neglect, the statement said. That child was placed in a “therapeutic setting.”
The family was referred for services, and the mother has completed many of them, according to DCFS.
A DCFS source said the mother had completed parenting classes, and a class for parenting special needs children. But the father, who was referred to those classes, remains “non-compliant.”
Child welfare investigators have been denied access to the home by the family “on several occasions,” the DCFS statement said.
The source said the agency also made unannounced visits to the home in 2016 and 2017, but no one responded.
“First and foremost a child has been injured. It's a tragic situation, not only for the family, for the child, but for our entire community and city. So we have to do everything we can to ensure instances like this do not repeat themselves,” said CPD Commander Kenneth Johnson.
One neighbor said this was more than sad.
“All I know is there some good people, okay, they work every day, they wake up in the morning take their children to school and bring them home, I just saw them about 30 minutes before it happened,” said Myrtle Hughes.
The shooting comes just over a month after 2-year-old Lavontay White was killed in a shooting on Feb. 14 in North Lawndale.