Enjae Rugley, 2
Died July 9, 2010
Enjae Rugley, a 2-year-old boy, was killed Friday, July 9, in the 16000 block of Parthenia Street in Northridge after his 7-year-old brother found a loaded handgun and accidentally shot him, according to authorities.
Police from the LAPD's Devonshire Division were called to the home about 5:50 p.m. after a shooting was reported, according to a police news release.
When authorities arrived, they found Enjae with a gunshot wound to the head, the coroner's office said.
Enjae was taken by paramedics to a hospital where he eventually died from his injuries, police said.
During the investigation, police determined that Enjae's 7-year-old brother had accidentally shot him while playing with a loaded firearm.
Officers questioned questioned Enjae's parents, Darren Eugene Ellis, 36, and Ebony Aiesha Ellis, 24, on July 12 about the shooting.
Investigators learned that Enjae's brother found the .40-caliber handgun in a closet and took it to a bedroom where his siblings were playing, said LAPD Det. Floyd Walton. The children's parents were home but in another part of the residence, Walton said.
The 7-year-old accidentally shot his brother once in the left temple, Walton said. His father called 911 and tried to revive the toddler. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Walton said it appeared to be a tragic accident.
"He thought it was a play gun,'' said Walton, of the 7-year-old. ”Boys play with water guns and things like that, and I'm sure he didn't know it could do real damage."
The parents are devastated, he said. Police earlier thought that another son, age 9, had pulled the trigger; but further investigation showed that it was the 7-year-old, Walton said.
An investigation into whether charges should be brought against the parents is continuing, the detective said. It is illegal to leave a weapon unlocked when it's not in use, he said.
— Catherine Saillant and Sarah Ardalani
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Updated: Aug. 6, 2010 at 3:38 p.m.