Reporting Kate Raddatz
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lawyers will make their closing arguments Thursday in the trial of a Minneapolis father whose 4-year-old son found a gun in the home and fired it — killing his 2-year-old brother.
Kao Xiong, 31, is charged with manslaughter and child endangerment in connection to last December’s incident.
Xiong allegedly left one of his semi-automatic hand guns under his pillow, which is where the 4-year-old found it and accidently shot and killed his younger brother. Xiong and his wife were apparently making lunch in the lower level of the house.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has called this a “tragic case” and recognized the struggle to balance the family’s grief over the loss of the young child and the violation of the law that resulted in his death.
The trial comes after an effort on both sides to work out a plea bargain, but they weren’t able to reach one.
Prosecutors said that the pistol was used in the shooting lacked a working safety and was one of several weapons police found improperly stored in the home.
Aside from the gun that killed the child, investigators found three handguns, three bolt-action rifles and a semi-automatic rifle in the home.
Xiong told police he is an avid hunter.