A two-year-old who was shot in the head on Friday has died.
Zayden Phillips, two, was shot at his home in Rochester, New York, at around 11.55am on Friday. The shooter was his father Charles Timothy Phillips, 36, according to investigators.
After the shooting the father was charged with first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He pleaded not guilt on Saturday.
Zayden Phillips, two, (left) was shot at his home in Rochester, New York, at around 11.55am on Friday. The shooter was his father Charles Timothy Phillips, 36, (right) investigators say
As a convicted felon, Phillips is prohibited from owning a gun. Police recovered a 9mm semi-automatic pistol from the home on Friday.
Zayden’s aunt Phyllis Green spoke to the Democrat and Chronicle on Friday afternoon during a family gathering at his grandmother’s home.
‘I’m upset, and a little shaky,’ she said.
Green said Zayden’s mother had been on a school field trip to a pumpkin patch with another of her sons when Zayden was shot.
Zayden was a ‘sweet little boy, your average two-year-old,’ Green said.
Green also lost a child to gun violence in 2006. ‘So when I hear about family getting shot, it’s very stressful.’
The head of the DA’s Child Abuse Unit, Sara VanStrydonck, said the first-degree assault charge against Phillips reflects a depraved indifference to human life.
‘That is, engaging in reckless conduct that led to this child’s injuries,’ she said.
Phillips was previously convicted of first-degree attempted robbery in Monroe County and sentenced to three and a half years in prison, according to state records.
Zayden’s aunt Phyllis Green called him a ‘sweet little boy, your average two-year-old’
Phillips was previously convicted of first-degree attempted robbery and is prohibited from owning a gun. He pleaded not guilty to charges related to his son’s shooting on Saturday
He was released on parole in December 2013 after serving two-thirds of his statutory sentence.
He was returned to prison in August 2015 for violating parole, and then re-released in April 2016.
His parole supervision expired two weeks before the shooting occurred, according to reports.
The original charges will probably be upgraded following Zayden’s death.
‘This is still an ongoing investigation and the charges can be changed if the status of the victim changes,’ VanStrydonck said over the weekend before Zayden was pronounced dead.
On Friday evening Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said that no other adults or children were in the home at the time of the incident.
‘I’m not going to discuss the incident beyond the charges that have been filed at this point,’ he said.
Phillips is scheduled to return to court on Thursday.