Philadelphia prosecutors have dropped charges against Fayaadh Gillard for accidentally shooting and killing his twin brother, Suhail. Initially, Fayaadh claimed that his brother was shot by an unknown assailant before he admitted to shooting Suhail on Wednesday.
While prosecutors did conclude that Fayaadh did shoot his brother, they said it "was a result of a tragic accident with no criminal intent on his part." Instead, their father Aleem Gillard has been arrested for involuntary manslaughter and weapons violations charges in relation to his son's death.
On Dec. 1, police responded to an emergency call at the family's residence. When they arrived, they found the 18-year-old, Suhail, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Authorities say that Aleem was showing his sons how to use a weapon when the gun fired. Aleem is a felon who isn't allowed to own a firearm, and investigators believe that Aleem told his children to lie to the police about what happened.
"We believe Aleem Gillard is responsible for the death of his child Suhail and he will be treated accordingly," Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told a local ABC affiliate. "One brother is gone and the other is traumatized and is bereaved possibly for the rest of his life and all because of a firearm."
Suhail Gillard was a city all-star and a three-time All-Public League football team player. He was a senior at Mastery Charter School Lenfest Campus, where both brothers played football. The school released a statement regarding Suhail's death and Fayaadh's involvement.
"Having the charges dropped relieves a tremendous burden for the family," the statement reads. "The tragic reality, however, is that regardless of the court decision, Fayaadh is grieving in a way that is beyond comprehension. We will continue to support him and his family through this difficult time."