PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — An 18-year-old victim’s father could be charged after a brother shot and killed his twin. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says Aleem Gillard wasn’t supposed to have a gun since he’s a convicted felon.
Krasner dropped charges against twin Fayaadh Gillard at a court hearing Wednesday. Mastery Charter North High School football standout Suhail Gillard was fatally shot on Dec. 1 at his father’s Overbrook apartment.
“We have concluded that while Fayaadh did pull the trigger, he did not do so with criminal intent,” Krasner said. “This was a horrific accident for which the whole family will suffer, but for which he should not be held criminally liable under these circumstances.”
During a press conference, Krasner said Aleem Gillard should not have been in possession of a firearm.
“He should not have encouraged his three children – the twins and their 16-year-old sister – to play with the firearm. And after the accidental shooting resulting in the death of one of his twins, he should not have instructed his two surviving traumatized children to lie, so he could keep himself out of prison,” Krasner said.
Police say Fayaadh Gillard fatally shot his twin brother in the chest while handling a gun inside their father’s Overbrook apartment. Prosecutors say Aleem Gillard was teaching his three children how to load and unload a gun when he gave it to them. As a convicted felon, he is banned from owning and possessing firearms.
Krasner said Aleem Gillard “will be treated accordingly.” He has yet to be charged.
Suhail was a three-time All-Public League running back who played for Mastery Charter North High School.
— SG. (@gillard_suhail) May 25, 2019
“Having the charges dropped relieves a tremendous burden for the family,” Mastery Charter Schools said in a statement. “The tragic reality, however, is that regardless of the court decision, Fayaadh is grieving in a way that is beyond comprehension. We will continue to support him and his family through this difficult time.”
It’s with grieving hearts that we inform you of the untimely passing of our beloved brother, Suhail Gillard. He was the most respected and hardest worker Mastery ever had the honor and privilege to put a jersey on. Rest well #Agent4🥀 4ever. pic.twitter.com/GYsAxZ3PHH
— Coach Mickey Grace (@Mickelod3on) December 2, 2019
Both brothers played for Mastery Charter North High School and were described as college prospects.
The DA’s office says the case is still under investigation.
CBS3’s Howard Monroe contributed to this report.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)