Teen charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 13-year-old sister

Martaevious Santiago tells police he accidentally shot sister on his birthday

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.

"Just her crying. Even in the house with the door closed, you could hear her crying," Anthony Rivera, who lives across the street, 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.

Police say Teddra King, 13, was accidentally shot and killed by her 17-year-old brother.

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

"He said, 'Dad, I'm sorry. It was an accident. I'm sorry, Dad,'" Santiago's stepfather, Vernon Williams, said. 

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. I really cant," Williams said.

"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."

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

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."

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.