Parents charged in accidental shooting of boy, 3, in Englewood

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The parents of a 3-year-who old boy was shot in the head Thursday during what police said was a game of "cops and robbers" at a home in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood have been charged. Police said the shooting was an accident.

The boy's father Michael D. Riley, 34, has been charged 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. Gwenddolyn Holloway, 28, has been charged with four misdemeanor counts of child endangerment.

Police said Riley and Holloway left their four children unattended in his home with a firearm that was not properly secured. Police said as a result, one of the children was able to get the firearm and accidentally shot it, striking the 3-year-old in the head. Riley will appear in court Saturday.

Gwenddolyn Holloway, 28, and Michael Riley, 34.

The Department of Children and Family Services said they are investigating the shooting, and that they had prior contact with the family. DCFS said they found against Riley for neglect in 2009 and twice found against Holloway for neglect in February and March 2013. The agency said one child was taken out of their custody in March 2013 due to neglect and placed in a therapeutic setting.

DCFS said four other siblings, ages five to 11, have been placed under the care of a relative with agency monitoring.

The boy was listed in critical condition at Comer Children's Hospital Friday. He underwent surgery late Thursday night. Andrew Holmes, an anti-violence activist, said the boy's grandmother is by his side as he recovers.

The boy was among four children left home alone in the 6200-block of South Aberdeen Street and living in very poor conditions, police said. The children were apparently playing with the gun when it went off just before 5 p.m.

"We've said it over and over again, guns don't belong in the house with children. If they are in the house, they are supposed to have safety locks on them. I wish that gun had never been in that home in the first place," Holmes said.

Three guns were recovered from the home, along with a significant amount of drugs. The mother of the boy had a valid gun license.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran with police recruits Friday morning and expressed his concern for the victim's family.

"Our sympathies are with the family, the mother and father and all their family, and the other kids, who witnessed something like this. Your heart goes out to everybody. Obviously, I can say this with absolute confidence, he family and the child are in everybody's prayers in the city of Chicago," Emanuel said.
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