INDIANAPOLIS – A couple had been using cocaine before the shooting death of their 5-year-old son, police say.
Jahbar Scott, 25, is charged with neglect of a dependent and possession of cocaine following the death of Hakiem Scott on Friday, May 12. Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers responded around 9:05 p.m. to the 1300 block of N. Kealing Avenue, where they found the 5-year-old had been shot.
Hakiem was taken to Riley Hospital for Children and later succumbed to his injuries. The coroner said he died from a gunshot wound. His death remains under investigation.
Police recovered a 9mm firearm along with cocaine and suspected drug paraphernalia from the residence, according to court documents.
The boy’s mother said she was in the kitchen when she heard a single gunshot. She ran into the living room to find the 5-year-old covered in blood.
Jahbar Scott had left the room to go to the bathroom, he told police. He said his 2-year-old son and Hakiem were watching TV on the couch. Scott was sitting on the other side of the couch and had tucked his gun between the arm and the cushion, with the back of the gun still visible.
Before getting up to use the bathroom, he told his wife to look at their youngest son, who was cuddling with their cat on the couch. While Scott was using the bathroom, he heard a single gunshot. He ran back into the living room where he found Hakiem on the couch with his brother standing in front of him.
“[Scott] could not remember where he recovered the firearm from but remembered releasing the magazine upon retrieval,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
IMPD previously indicated the incident may have been self-inflicted and accidental, and the affidavit doesn’t explicitly state who fired the fatal shot.
However, court documents stated that the mother saw her 2-year-old holding a gun before setting it down after she ran in from the kitchen.
Scott’s wife also told a detective that she and her husband had been using cocaine that night. Police found cocaine on a tray in a bedroom next to a rolled-up dollar bill and a straw, indicating the couple had been doing drugs.
Scott initially told investigators he “may have been holding [the cocaine] for someone” and denied using it.
At one point, while Scott’s wife was on the phone, she saw him come into the bedroom to use cocaine and said both children came into the bedroom before returning to the living room. She then went to the kitchen, heard the gunshot and called 911, according to court documents.
The mother tested positive for cocaine during an instant drug test, police said. Investigators obtained a search warrant to get a blood draw from Scott.
Scott had his initial hearing on Thursday morning. A jury trial is tentatively scheduled for July 24.