ST. LOUIS (AP)- A teenager called police to say his younger brother had just been shot in the leg in a drive-by shooting. It was all a lie, police say.
The older brother was actually the one who fired the shot, apparently by accident while he was playing with a handgun at their home in the 5500 block of Beacon Avenue.
The younger boy, 14, is going to be OK. He was treated for his leg injury. His older brother, meanwhile, faces three misdemeanor charges. Bail is set at $5,000.
St. Louis prosecutors on Thursday charged William Malik Pearson Jr., 17, with third-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and making a false report.
Police say Pearson was playing with a handgun he bought on the street. His younger brother was with him at the home on Beacon, near Calvary Cemetery. The shooting happened when Pearson was racking the gun, or pulling the slide mechanism back and letting go to manually load the first round into the chamber.
A bullet fired from the gun, hitting the brother in the leg at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, authorities say. The brother is identified in court papers only by his initials, T.C.
After the shooting, Pearson hid the gun and called 911, telling officers that his brother was hurt in a drive-by shooting, police say. He later admitted he had lied.
The detective handling the investigation for the St. Louis Police Department, Christopher Amen, said in court papers that Pearson is affiliated with a gang and poses a danger to the community after illegally buying the handgun on the street.
The assault and endangering charges carry a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The crime of making a false police report carries a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a $500 fine.