Six-year-old Brandon Holt was buried today in Toms River, New Jersey. He was shot, police say, by his playmate, a four-year-old neighbor.
The father of a 4-year-old boy who shot and killed his 6-year-old friend was indicted on Wednesday and a day later his lawyer said he will vigorously defend his client.
On April 8, police say 33-year-old Anthony Senatore’s 4-year-old son gained access to an unsecured .22 caliber rifle in the bedroom of Senatore’s Toms River home. Investigators say the young boy fired a single shot which struck his 6-year-old neighbor, Brandon Holt, in the head.
Holt was taken to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead the next day.
After a month-long investigation from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Senatore was arrested on May 13.
In a statement, Senatore's attorney Robert Ebberup asks people not to rush to judgment against Senatore of Toms River.
Authorities say Senatore had multiple unsecured weapons in his home.
Police say in addition to the loaded .22 caliber rifle that fired the fatal shot, a Stevens 12-gauge shotgun, two Harrington & Richardson shotguns and a Remington 12-gauge shotgun were all found unsecured in Senatore’s home and in close proximity to ammunition. Investigators also say the weapons were easily accessible to not only Senatore’s 4-year-old son, but also his 12 and 8-year-old children.
Senatore was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses. On Wednesday, Senatore was indicted for five counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of children and one count of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Although the shooting occurred in Ocean County, Atlantic County is handling the case because Senatore has relatives who have worked in law enforcement in Ocean County.