Police said the mother of the 2-year-old killed Monday night attempted to hamper the investigation into the child’s death.
Lancaster police charged the mother, Toni Lashay Gladden, 26 of 509 E. Dunlap St., with misprison of a felony and felony unlawful conduct toward a child, Chief Scott Grant said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Police also charged Gladden’s live-in boyfriend, Shazeem Tyrell Hayes, 18, with felony unlawful conduct toward a child,
Police said at this point in the investigation there is nothing that shows the death of Jacarion Antonio Gladden was an intentional act.
However, Grant did say that “extreme criminal negligence” was a major factor in Jacarion’s death.
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The child’s father, Rashad Johnson, is currently in the Lancaster County Jail on an unrelated murder charge.
Gladden and Hayes are in custody and await bond hearings.
Grant said there was “an obvious attempt by Toni Gladden to mislead investigators and hamper this investigation.”
The gun used to shoot Jacarion was fired inside the house and is in police custody, but Grant declined to say who owned the gun.
Grant also declined to say who police believe fired the gun.
The investigation is ongoing and Grant said there could be additional charges against both suspects. There are no other suspects in the case, Grant said.
Jacarion died after he was shot at the home on East Dunlap Street, said Karla Knight Deese, Lancaster County coroner, who responded to Springs Memorial Hospital in Lancaster after 8 p.m. Monday. An autopsy confirmed he died from a single gunshot, Deese said in a statement.
Lancaster police are investigating the shooting, but have not released any information about what happened.
Grant said his officers would investigate the case and determine who was responsible.
The State Law Enforcement Division sent members of its child fatality team to assist with the investigation, said Thom Berry, spokesman for SLED. The team investigates all child deaths in conjunction with local police.
Jacarion was known to neighbors as a sweet and gentle child whose smile was well-known as Jacarion rode his tiny bicycle. The shooting has shocked neighbors although some said that gun violence in the neighborhood is far too common.
Neighbor Latisa Dawkins said the whole neighborhood is “shook up.”
“He (Jacarion) was sweet as he could be and very smart,” Dawkins said.
Another neighbor who didn’t want to be named said the child was a respectful and playful boy, who was always riding his bike in the neighborhood.
“He was always playing in the yard,” the neighbor said. “He was always hanging on his mom’s neck.”
The neighbor who did not want to be identified said violence in the neighborhood is a constant.
“It bothers me,” she said. “I’m scared to come outside sometime.”
She said she just wants police to get to the bottom of what happened to the toddler.
Check back for updates.