5-Year-Old Who Fatally Shot Infant Brother Was High On Cocaine, Prosecutors Say
Gun and bullets.
Steve Prezant via Getty Images

A five-year-old boy who fatally shot his 16-month-old brother earlier this year was high on cocaine, while the deceased toddler tested positive for marijuana, according to prosecutors.

The five-year-old shot his younger brother in the head on March 28. Officers administered a drug test to the five-year-old, which came back positive for cocaine, prosecutors said. An autopsy of the deceased toddler revealed he had marijuana in his system at the time of the killing.

The announcement was made when prosecutors unsealed charges against the children’s parents, Deonta Johnson, 27, and Shatia Welch, 24, of Lafayette, Indiana, related to the shooting. The couple has been hit with three charges of child neglect and several drug charges.

After the child’s death, police say they found 93 pills of fentanyl within reach of the five-year-old boy, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. They also found marijuana and a grinder inside of Johnson’s car, and determined that he had tried to hide marijuana.

Johnson, the father of the dead 16-month-old but not the five-year-old, is also being charged with obstruction of justice for attempting to clear the apartment of drugs before the police arrived. Johnson was the only other person in the building at the time of the shooting.

“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,” according to the prosecutor’s probable cause affidavit.

According to officials, Johnson changed his story several times when authorities questioned him. He repeatedly denied owning a gun and that the victim had been shot at all, according to reports. Later, he allegedly admitted that Welch, the children’s mother, owned the gun her older son used to shoot his brother in the head.

Welch claimed that she always kept her gun in a locked box under her bed, but Welch claimed she could not remember if she had locked the safe when she put the gun away that weekend, according to prosecutors. Police found the gun on a dresser in the couple’s bedroom.


Welch further told police that her older child was not aware of the gun and wasn’t even allowed to build or play with toy guns. However, she told police he occasionally played under her bed, where the safe was located.

The couple was arrested in LaPorte, a city about 90 miles north of LaFayette, on Monday and were extradited to LaFayette Tuesday afternoon.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  5-Year-Old Who Fatally Shot Infant Brother Was High On Cocaine, Prosecutors Say