5-year-old with cocaine in system fatally shoots 1-year-old brother who had marijuana in blood

Francis Akhalbey July 28, 2023
Deonta Jermaine Johnson and Shatia Tiara Welch were arrested and charged after their 1-year-old son was killed by his older brother -- Left photo via New York Post | Top right and bottom left photos via LaPorte Police Department

Authorities in Indiana said a 5-year-old boy, who shot and killed his 1-year-old brother on March 28, tested positive for cocaine while the deceased toddler had marijuana in his blood at the time of the fatal incident.

According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, the shooting occurred at the brothers’ mother’s apartment at Romney Meadows. The boys’ parents, identified as Deonta Jermaine Johnson and Shatia Tiara Welch, have since been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

Police went to the home after 3 p.m. on March 28 after they received a report about a toddler who had been fatally shot. Prosecutors said Johnson as well as the deceased toddler and his brother were in the apartment at the time.

In the wake of the incident, prosecutors said Johnson on multiple occasions shared different accounts of what happened when officers were interviewing him. “Johnson then claimed he woke up on the couch, saw (Welch’s 5-year-old son) on the couch, heard a boom, took the marijuana to the car, went to Victim 1’s bedroom and found Victim 1 dead and called Welch,” prosecutors stated in the probable cause affidavit.

Prosecutors also said that officers who conducted a search of the apartment after the shooting found 93 fentanyl pills, marijuana, and paraphernalia, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported. Besides that, marijuana as well as a grinder containing marijuana residue were also found in Johnson’s vehicle. 

In her statements to police, Welch informed police the gun belongs to her, adding that she kept the weapon in a locked box under the bed. She, however, said the gun was taken from the box the weekend before the fatal incident, and she couldn’t recall if she locked the box after she placed it back inside, prosecutors stated, per the Lafayette Journal & Courier

The couple were arrested last week and charged with neglect resulting in death, neglect resulting in bodily injury, and neglect of a dependent. They also face additional charges of drug dealing and drug possession. 

Prosecutors also said Johnson allegedly took away marijuana from the home before police responded. He has since been charged with obstruction of justice over that.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 28, 2023


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