wplg logo

Teen arrested on manslaughter charge in fatal shooting of 13-year-old sister

Martaevious Santiago tells police he accidentally shot sister on his birthday

Photo does not have a caption

FLORIDA CITY, Fla. – A 17-year-old boy faces a manslaughter charge after he accidentally shot and killed his younger sister in their Florida City home on his birthday, police said.

Martaevious Santiago called 911 Tuesday night to say that he had shot his 13-year-old sister, Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.

When Florida City police arrived at the home on Northwest 16th Street, they found the girl, identified as Teddra King, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Photo does not have a caption

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue paramedics arrived and pronounced her dead at the scene.

"He said, 'Daddy, I'm sorry. It was an accident. I'm sorry, Dad,'" Santiago's stepfather, Vernon Williams, told Local 10 News. 

According to a Miami-Dade police report, Santiago was holding a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the kitchen of the home when a playful King hugged him. As King turned to walk away, Santiago pointed the gun at the back of her head and pulled the trigger, shooting her, police said.

Santiago, who was celebrating his 17th birthday, told police that he accidentally shot his sister while playing around with her.

"I can't fault anyone for this here," Williams said. "It happened."

A neighbor said he heard the screams from across the street.

"You know, even in the house with the door closed, you can heard her crying," Anthony Rivera said.

The gun was given to Santiago by a 14-year-old friend, Zabaleta said. The 14-year-old was also arrested on an outstanding delinquency warrant.

Photo does not have a caption

Williams told Local 10 News reporter Layron Livingston that he and his wife have nine children in their blended family. He said his stepdaughter was a "beautiful young lady."

"He didn't mean to kill his sister," family friend Shamara Perpall said. "This was a freak accident that shouldn't have never even happened."

A public defender appeared in court Wednesday on behalf of Santiago. The judge ordered that Santiago remain in secure detention until at least his next hearing in May.

A candlelight vigil is expected to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the siblings' home to remember Teddra.

About the Authors:

Peter Burke returned for a second stint of duty at Local 10 News in February 2014.

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.