Man pleads not guilty in shooting

January 13, 2009 3:40:15 PM PST
A man arrested in connection with the accidental fatal shooting of a 2-year-old boy by a 12-year-old family member at a home in East Palo Alto Thursday evening was charged with two felonies Monday, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

A man who owns the gun with which a 12-year-old accidentally shot and killed a toddler in East Palo Alto last week pleaded not guilty in San Mateo Superior Court Monday to two felony charges, a deputy district attorney said today.

Sergio Sanchez, a 34-year-old friend of the toddler's family, allegedly left a .22-caliber rifle in his room before going to work Friday, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

A 12-year-old boy, believing the gun was a toy, grabbed the rifle and pointed it at a 2-year-old boy playing in the room with his mother, Wagstaffe said.

The 12-year-old then pulled the trigger. The gun fired, killing the toddler, Wagtsaffe said.

The 2-year-old has been identified as Andrew Stanford Grewe, East Palo Alto police Detective David Carson said.

Sanchez turned himself in to Palo Alto police around 8:30 p.m. Friday. He took full accountability for what happened and expressed sincere remorse during the interview, police said.

Nevertheless, authorities determined there was probable cause to arrest Sanchez, who was convicted of a felony in 1998 for conspiracy to sell drugs, Wagstaffe said.

Sanchez is charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of storing a gun in a location where it could be accessible to a child, Wagstaffe said.

The 12-year-old boy who fired the gun was questioned after the shooting and released to Child Protective Services, according to police.

No other arrests have been made, East Palo Alto police Detective Angel Sanchez said today.

Sanchez remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.


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