St. Paul man charged after 13-year-old shot 11-year-old with his gun

A St. Paul man has been charged after his 13-year-old relative shot an 11-year-old in the face while playing with his guns on Friday, court documents state. 

Martinez Castillo Lloyd, 34, was charged Monday with one count of possession of a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime, and one count of negligent storage of a loaded firearm where a child can access. 

On March 29, St. Paul police arrived at an apartment on the 800 block of Pierce Butler Route just before 9 p.m. on reports of a shooting. Officers arrived and found a "chaotic" scene with several children, including an 11-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the face lying on top of the stairs of the apartment building, the charges said. 

READ MORE: Neighbor recounts shooting of 11-year-old St. Paul boy

Court documents say the children at the scene told officers Lloyd's relative, the 13-year-old suspect, picked up a firearm. While she was playing with it, she said, "Merch, I won't shoot him," and the gun went off, striking the 11-year-old boy. She then left the apartment.

According to the complaint, police found the 13-year-old girl after they went to her home on Charles Avenue, where she arrived shortly after. The charges allege as she was being taken into custody she said, "I accidentally shot somebody" and "I didn't know the gun was loaded." 

The children at the scene told officers Lloyd is the father of two children who were at the apartment. A group of five juveniles were also there. The charges explain that the children are all friends and some are related. The children, including the 13-year-old, arrived at his apartment at 8:20 p.m. on Friday, and Lloyd left about 30 minutes later to go to the store.  

READ MORE: St. Paul police: 11-year-old shot in head; 2 arrested including 13-year-old

While Lloyd was gone, his son and the 13-year-old allegedly went into Lloyd's bedroom and grabbed firearms, the complaint said. Lloyd's son grabbed a 9mm semiautomatic gun and the 13-year-old girl grabbed a revolver.

The girl was allegedly waving and playing with the revolver when it went off, striking the victim in the face, court documents said. The girl then dropped the revolver in the living room and fled the apartment. The other children tried to walk the victim outside when he collapsed outside the apartment. 

According to the charges, the firearms are kept in a higher up, unlocked drawer in a closet. Allegedly, the two juveniles had played with Lloyd's firearms "dozens" of times in the last year and the suspect told police she last played with them the previous weekend. She also told them she assumed the firearms were unloaded because they were usually, and she did not know how to check to see if the revolver was loaded. The 9mm was loaded with the safety on. 

The charges allege Lloyd had seen the children playing with the guns before and told them to put the guns away. Lloyd allegedly admitted to police that he owned the firearms and that he usually took the bullets out of the guns. He also said his children and the 13-year-old girl had probably seen him handling the guns, and he kept the guns for protection. 

The 11-year-old was taken to the hospital for surgery where he remains in critical condition. St. Paul police said the victim was not related to anyone in the apartment. 

According to court documents, Lloyd has a prior felony conviction for third-degree sale of a controlled substance in Ramsey County. 

Lloyd's next court appearance is on Tuesday. 

St. Paul Police Chief Axel Henry said in a statement about the incident, "This incident is tragic and infuriating. All of us have a responsibility to do everything we can to prevent things like this from happening…everything. If you're not supposed to have guns, don't have guns. If you have guns, you have a duty and a responsibility to keep them safe and away from those who shouldn't have them. In this case no one should have had a gun, child or adult."

"Criminal charges in this case are important, but they don't undo the damage. This should never have happened, period. We must take ownership of our actions and inactions if we are to have any chance to prevent the next tragedy," Henry continued.