Dad Charged With Shooting 4-Year-Old Daughter Recently Posted Gun Photos on His Facebook
A Philadelphia municipal court judge has denied bail for 30-year-old Kensington resident Maurice Phillips, who is charged with shooting his 4-year-old daughter Tahirah in the head on Saturday, a shooting that Phillips claims was accidental.
Police were called to the family’s home on Mayfield Street just before 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. There, they found the young child on the floor of one of the bedrooms with a gunshot to her head. She was pronounced dead.
Investigators say that Phillips and the girl were in the home’s front bedroom when the gun went off, as she and her six siblings, aged 7 months to 13 years, were watching TV.
After Tahirah was shot, Phillips allegedly punched his five-year-old daughter and then wiped blood onto her shirt. Then, say police, he moved Tahirah’s body to the other bedroom and called the mother, Tera Riddick, who came home. Shortly thereafter, Phillips changed his clothes and left the house.
Phillips turned himself in over the weekend. According to police, the father originally denied having anything to do with the shooting, and early reports indicated that the 5-year-old daughter may have pulled the trigger. But, say police, Phillips eventually gave detectives details on what happened, and he was charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, among other offenses.
On February 14th, Phillips, who goes by his middle name, Stephon, changed his Facebook cover image to a photograph of a black handgun with a box of ammunition. Investigators won’t say if this was the same weapon used in the tragic shooting. Phillips also posted an image of an assault rifle on the same day. The weapons appear to be a Glock and an AR-15.
Phillips is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 4th.
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