Philadelphia Police Release Details in 4-Year-Old's Self-Inflicted Shooting Death

The little girl killed last week while holding a handgun found the firearm in a second-floor bedroom closet and pulled the trigger while looking down its barrel, police said in a statement Saturday announcing charges against the 4-year-old's mother and the mother's boyfriend.

Both adults have been charged in the June 23 shooting in North Philadelphia and the gun allegedly was illegally owned by the boyfriend, the girl's mother told police. The victim is identified as Sani Holmes, who lived with her mother and siblings in a house on the 1800 block of North 20th Street.

Demetrius Williams, 26, who turned himself in Thursday, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and three counts of Violations of the Uniform Firearms Acts: which are labeled as "former convict," "no license" and "on streets."

Online court records for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas show a long list of serious charges brought against Williams since he was 17. However, in three of the most serious cases, including counts of aggravated assault and conspiracy of attempted murder, charges against Williams were either dismissed or dropped because witnesses failed to appear.

Sani's mother, Shakeya Holmes, 25, is charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment and hindering apprehension.

"The victim’s mother originally provided false and misleading information to investigators," police said in the statement. "However, she did indicate that her boyfriend, 26 year old Demetrius Williams was responsible for bringing the gun into her home."

Holmes and Williams remained jailed without bail.

Contact Us