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Father faces neglect charge after 2-year-old son fatally shoots 5-year-old brother

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A father is being charged with negligence after his 2-year-old was seen holding a gun and his 5-year-old was shot on the couch, court documents say.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges Wednesday against a father for his alleged role in last week’s shooting death of his 5-year-old.

Jahbar Scott, 25, is faced with charges of negligence causing the death of his 5-year-old son and possession of cocaine.

Indianapolis police responded at 9:05 p.m. May 12 to a report of a person shot in the 1300 block of North Kealing Avenue. That’s a residential area northwest of North Sherman Drive and East 10th Street.

Police arrived and located the 5-year-old suffering from a gunshot wound and was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, where he later died.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office later identified him as Hakiem Scott.

Police executed a search warrant and recovered a 9mm firearm along with cocaine and paraphernalia.

The parents of the toddler were taken to the homicide office for questioning.

According to court docs, on May 12 during questioning, Scott told police he and his 2-year-old and 5-year-old sons were sitting on the couch watching TV when he placed his gun down the side of the couch, where the back end of the gun was pointing out. Because he was experiencing stomach issues, he went into the kitchen to tell his wife, Mariah Steuer, to watch their son while he would be going to the bathroom.

While he was in the bathroom, he heard a single gunshot, causing him to run into the living room to see Hakiem on the couch and his 2-year-old standing in front of him. Scott told police he could not remember where he grabbed the firearm but remembered releasing the magazine.

When police asked Scott about the cocaine, he denied using stating that he may have been holding it for a friend, but he couldn’t remember. Police say that cocaine was on a tray in the bedroom with a rolled-up dollar bill and straw next to it when searching the home.

During an interview with police, Steuer told investigators that she and her family were out when Jahbar received cocaine from a friend. After getting home, Scott and Steuer would both use the cocaine that he placed in a tray on the bedroom’s dresser.

Steuer told police while she left to go to the kitchen she was talking on the phone with her friend. During that time, Scott and the boys were in the living room. Within less than a minute of her in the kitchen, she heard a gunshot.

Steuer said that she ran from the kitchen into the living room and saw the 2-year-old holding a gun before setting it down. She then hung up the phone, ran out of the house, and called 911.

Detectives have obtained search warrants for Scott and Steuer’s phones.