Charges: St. Paul man left kids alone, guns accessible before boy was shot in face

Charges: St. Paul man left kids alone, guns accessible before boy was shot in face

Charges: St. Paul man left kids alone, guns accessible before boy was shot in face

A man is now facing criminal charges in connection to a shooting at a St. Paul apartment on Friday night that left an 11-year-old critically hurt.

Martinez Castillo Lloyd, 34, is charged with illegal gun possession and negligent storage of a gun following the incident.

Prosecutors say that Lloyd’s children and several of their friends — ranging in age from 10 to 13 — were at his apartment in the 800 block of Pierce Butler Route starting at around 8:20 p.m. After about 30 minutes, Lloyd left and went to a store, leaving the kids by themselves.

Charging documents state that, after Lloyd left, his son and niece went into his room and grabbed two guns that he kept in an unlocked drawer in his room. The documents note that the kids said they’ve played with the guns a dozen times in the past year, including the weekend prior.

Lloyd later told police that he’d seen his kids play with his guns before and told them to put them back.

However, that night, while he was gone and the kids were playing with the guns, one of them went off and an 11-year-old boy was struck in the face.

Court documents note that the girl who was holding the gun at the time dropped it and then ran away, and Lloyd said he returned to the apartment when he saw police in the area.

Police recovered two guns from inside the apartment. Lloyd said he kept them for protection but is prohibited from having guns or ammunition due to a past felony conviction.

He faces up to 15 years in prison for illegal gun possession and up to a year for negligent gun storage. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors added that police also referred a case against a juvenile for possible charges in the incident but didn’t say whether or not the juvenile has been charged at this time.

“This tragedy is a painful reminder of the need to safely and securely store guns out of the reach of children,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a prepared statement. “This was our goal in launching our Ramsey County Gun Safety Initiative, to expand awareness of the critical need to lock and secure firearms and provide free gun locks to Ramsey County residents through libraries and community centers. Please, if you are a gun owner, visit this website and take steps to ensure responsible gun ownership so we can prevent future tragedies in our community.”

St. Paul Police Chief Axel Henry echoed Choi’s calls for gun safety.

“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,” Henry said in a statement. “If you’re not supposed to have guns, don’t have guns. If you have guns, you have a duty and 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.”