The mother of a 9-year-old girl who was critically wounded, allegedly by her brother, was arrested Saturday on charges accusing her of possessing a stolen weapon and leaving it unsecured in her home, Newark police said.
Catrease Thomas, 33, was being charged with endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a weapon.
Her daughter was allegedly shot in the chest by her 12-year-old brother who was playing with the gun inside their home. The girl was taken to a nearby hospital where she remains in critical but stable condition.
The weapon, a 9 mm handgun, was reported stolen out of Alabama and was unsecured in Thomas' home on the 200 block of Renner Avenue in Newark, police said. Police recovered the gun, which was loaded.
Charges are pending against a second adult, police said.
“The city, the police department, the residents, we are all outraged that this senseless shooting has occurred, an incident that could have easily been avoided but for the carelessness of two adults. We have a 9-year-old clinging to her life as a result of that carelessness,” said Newark Police Director Eugene Venable. “My heart goes out to the family of the children although the children’s mother and her boyfriend will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”