A brother in Kansas City, Missouri, is without his toddler sibling today because he shot him with a gun that he thought was a toy. Police say that the two brothers, ages 5 and 3, woke up early and they were hungry. The older brother tried to tell his mother but she was asleep in bed with her boyfriend, so the boys went downstairs to the kitchen. The older brother was looking for a box of cereal on top of the refrigerator when he found a gun belonging to his mother’s boyfriend.
The child thought it was a toy and began playing with his 3-year-old brother, identified as Jermone Green. At some point, the older brother accidentally shot his young sibling. Paramedics responding to the scene could not revive the child and he was pronounced dead. The tragedy is compounded by the fragile nature of the family structure in the household. The father of the two boys, Jermaine E. Green, is serving a 50-year sentence for robbery and assault. In addition, their grandfather recently was released from prison and never got a chance to see his grandsons. The grandfather, CJ Martin, recently shared his profound grief in a Facebook post: “As you know my family was stricken by the worst tragedy imaginable. My 3-year-old grandson was shot and killed in Kansas city this morning. This hurts me deeply since because of my recent incarceration I was never able to see my grandbaby. But this is not about me. My son Jermaine Green who is the child’s father is in a Missouri prison serving a 40-year sentence. He is who I am most concerned about. I just had to break this news to my son on the phone, but He had already seen it on the news which makes it even worse. I know firsthand how this will affect him. I lost both my parents while incarcerated and I sat helplessly behind Texas prison walls while Jermaine himself had been shot 4 times. The emotional turmoil that these things will have on him CANNOT be described in words. I ask not for sympathy, but for your prayers to be given for my dear son. Prayers for a toddler who will one day have to deal with the fact that his brother was killed by his own hand.”
The family has started a GoFundMe account to help with funeral costs for Jermone Green. The boy’s grandfather stated the children were left unattended and had harsh words for the boyfriend. He posted to Facebook, “Damn, my poor grand baby didn’t even get a chance at life! I’m so mad right now I just don’t know what to do! Get rid of them damn guns! This makes no sense at all. Because some coward wanted to act hard a carry a gun everywhere he went. You wanna be hard? Take care of your damn kids, be a real good husband to your wife, take care of your family! That’s what real men do! You are a f—ing coward if you have to tote a gun every place you go. That says you’re scared, not tough! You have brought all of this pain and suffering to my family for no reason. You better get down on your knees and Thank God in heaven for two things, one, that I’m in Texas and not in Kansas city!”
Police are trying to determine whether the boyfriend’s gun was legally obtained and have no further comments during this initial phase of an investigation. Kansas City prosecutors are reviewing the circumstances of the incident to determine if any charges are to be filed against the mother and her boyfriend.