4-year-old boy dies after his schizophrenic older brother throws him off apartment building roof
Shawn Smith was charged with alleged murder on Saturday afternoon for leading his brother Shimron to the roof and then throwing him
When a 20-year-old man suffering from schizophrenia threw his four-year-old brother off a seven-story high building, his first reaction to his own action was to walk up to cops and straightaway confess his deeds. Following the death of the four-year-old, the family has released a smiling picture of the child and nothing can make our hearts break more.
The 20-year-old, Shawn Smith, led cops to where his brother's broken body lay in a trash-strewn Midwood courtyard. Smith reportedly said, "I just killed my brother — I took my brother up to the roof and I threw him off." Following the incident which took place at 2:45 am, Smith was charged with alleged murder on Saturday afternoon for leading his brother to the roof and then throwing him.
While the 20-year-old does not have any prior criminal record or history of violence, his crime might be overlooked considering his unstable mental condition. Smith had confessed to his family that it was the voices in his head which had compelled him to do something so terrible.
According to a Daily News report, a high-ranking police source quoted Smith asking the officers "Can I speak to you?". "I need to tell you something." When the cops asked if he could wait while they handled another call, Smith sat patiently until he was told to speak. "I think my brother's hurt," he said. "Take me there and I'll tell you more."
The officers directed fellow cops to the Nostrand Ave. building, where the tiny victim’s body was found around 3:30 a.m., flanked by discarded trash bags and a stroller. Neighbors had reportedly told cops later that a loud boom broke the silence in the middle of the night. Smith was taken into police custody after cops made the grisly discovery.
Outside the 70th Precinct on Saturday evening, Smith told reporters: "I’ve finally become a criminal!" Asked if he was trying to kill his brother, Smith answered: "Not really." Shimron died of "multiple blunt force injuries," the city Medical Examiner’s office said on Saturday night. It ruled his death a homicide.
"It’s very inhuman. Too inhuman," said John Okoh, whose family lives in the Smith family’s building. "They ought to have controlled the person who is sick."
A mental illness which occurs to one percent of the adult population, schizophrenia blurs the line between imagination and reality leaving the person in a state where they are unable to distinguish between what is real and what is not.
Smith has had records of being suicidal in the past, specifically when he climbed the same roof in April that he had thrown his brother from at Nostrand Avenue, near Avenue K, prompting onlookers to make calls to 911.
20-year-old Shawn Smith charged with murder after he allegedly tossed his 4-year-old brother from a Brooklyn building. Cops say he admitted throwing him off roof. Relatives say he suffers from schizophrenia. When asked if he meant to hurt his brother he responded “not really.” pic.twitter.com/HQImk63xa1— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) September 29, 2018
As the youngest children of Odessa Frith, the two brothers had moved in with their mother in December from their native Guyana. After he was admitted to the Kings County Hospital in July, Smith had stopped taking his prescribed medicines. A neighbor, Andrea Fergus, spoke about Frith's frustrating condition in the situation.
"She’s got one kid at the precinct and another one dead." She also stated that the four-year-old kid, Shimron, was a playful, lively kid who was pretty much loved by his neighbors. "He would ride that little bike up and down the block, up and down. He was always so sweet." However, Smith has always been the troubled kid in the family. Another neighbor said of him, "He doesn’t speak to nobody, he just walks up behind you. Walks up and down, smoking. He doesn’t talk much."