A five-year old boy is in serious but stable condition after being shot in the arm in the Bronx neighborhood of New York on Friday. What was not clear in the immediate aftermath, though, was how it all happened.
In a dizzying tale, the culprit went from robbers, to the boy’s father, to the boy’s 11-year-old brother, before police announced that the child appeared to have accidentally shot himself.
33-year-old Denny Pantoja originally claimed his son was shot in a robbery at a nearby check-cashing firm, according to WABC, before saying that he accidentally shot him at their home. Reports soon shifted the blame to the boy’s 11-year-old brother, before authorities said that the young child appeared to have accidentally shot himself while playing with the firearm.
Pantoja says he grabbed the child and ran outside for help after his son walked in to his bedroom, likely crying, saying that he’d been shot. He soon got in his car and attempted to rush the boy to the hospital but was reportedly pulled over for speeding. Seeing the bleeding child, police immediately called an ambulance.
Though Pantoja doesn’t appear to have pulled the trigger, he is still being charged with criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the New York Post.
Neighbors describe the man as a good father, saying “he’s always with his children” and has a tendency to spoil them.
One neighbor defended Pantoja’s decision to have a weapon in the house for FOX5: “As any man of a family would have [a gun], it’s a safety…Anything happen in his family, he would take the bid, that’s family.”
The type of gun has not been identified, but police say they found it in Pantoja’s car.
ABC7 has more on the story: