2-Year-Old Shot by Father Last Week Dies
The 2-year-old boy who was shot in the head by his father Friday last week died due to his injuries on Tuesday night, the Strong Memorial Hospital confirmed, according to WHEC.
Police discovered Zayden Phillips with a gunshot wound at his family’s home in Rochester, New York, just past noon on Friday. The boy was rushed to Strong Memorial where he was listed in a guarded condition over the weekend.
Investigators recovered a Century Arms Canik 9mm semi-automatic pistol loaded with nine bullets, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. The discovery led to the arrest of the boy’s 36-year-old father Charles Timothy Phillips.
Philips is a convicted felon, which makes it illegal for him to possess a gun. He is being held without bail at the Monroe County Jail with a court appearance scheduled for Thursday morning.
The two were alone at the family home at 24 Walnut Street when the shooting occurred. Court documents state that the boy was shot in the head and suffered life-threatening injuries.
Over the weekend, when the boy was still alive, Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Sara VanStrydonck said that charges against the father would be upgraded if the boy’s condition worsened. Additional charges would have to be decided by a grand jury.
Before the boy died, the father was charged with first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon for the shooting. The assault charges concerned depraved indifference to human life, VanStrydonck, the head of the Child Abuse Unit, explained.
“That is, engaging in reckless conduct that led to this child’s injuries,” she said on Saturday when the child was still alive but his prognosis was “not good.”
Charles Phillips was convicted of attempted robbery in 2009 and sentenced to three-and-a-half-years of imprisonment.
He was released on parole in 2013 but returned to prison in 2015 after he violated parole conditions. He was then released again in April 2016. His parole supervision ran out two weeks before the fatal shooting.
Charles Phillips pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Police did not say what led to the shooting.
Family members said the shooting was an accident, WIVB 4 reported.