Father charged after child shot on Walnut St.

October 23, 2017 12:23 PM

The father of the 2-year-old shot on Walnut Street is now facing charges.

Chief Michael Ciminelli says 36-year-old Charles Phillips is charged with assault in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon. His son, Zayden Phillips, is in guarded condition at Strong Hospital.

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Police responded to Walnut Street shortly before noon on Friday for reports of shots fired. At the scene, they found the two-year-old had been shot and seriously hurt. According to the criminal complaint, the child was shot in the head.

"Officers located the victim, Zayden Phillips, two years of age, who lives at 24 Walnut Street with an apparent gunshot wound," says Chief Michael Ciminelli.

Chief Ciminelli wouldn't talk about the circumstances of the shooting and couldn't say if it was an accident or not. Officers say no one else was in the house at the time of the shooting and they don't believe there are any other suspects in the case.

"I'm not going to discuss the circumstances beyond the charges that have been filed at this point," Chief Ciminelli told reporters.

The child's extended family lives in the neighborhood. Zayden's aunt told us they are coping as best as they can. "Well being upset. A little shaky. I can't get myself too upset because I had a stroke. I'm just holding myself down but I'm going to be there for the family."

This incident sent a ripple of horror through the neighborhood. "I just don't understand how something could happen like that," says Brittany Singletary.

Singletary says this is devastating. She's consistently seen children playing outside in front of his Zayden house. "I hope everything is okay. I send my prayers to them and hopefully everything goes right."

According to the criminal complaint, Phillips was convicted of attempted robbery in 2009. He was released from parole on Oct. 7, 2017.


Lynette Adams

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