KENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. – Two Wisconsin brothers were charged Thursday in the death of 5-year-old Dakari Weldon, who accidentally shot himself Monday and died at a nearby hospital where two people dropped him off and left.
Javonn Cannon, 24, faces one count of homicide by negligent handling of a weapon, repeater, and one count of possession of THC, repeater. His brother, 24-year-old Jovonn Cannon, faces one count of leave/store loaded firearm near child.
Three adults (including the Cannon brothers) and three children were at the Kenosha home Monday when the shooting happened, according to a criminal complaint.
The older brother of the 5-year-old shooting victim told police he was in Jovonn Cannon's bedroom with the 5-year-old and the Cannon brothers, cleaning and moving stuff around the room. He said he saw Javonn Cannon load the gun and set it on the bed before the 5-year-old picked it up and began playing with it. The older brother said he told the 5-year-old to come watch TV, but he continued to play with the gun in the bedroom. He said the Cannon brothers were in the room when the 5-year-old played with the trigger and the weapon fired, hitting the boy.
"When the court read this criminal complaint, I assume that its reading was of heartbreaking stupidity for the two adults who have criminal liability in this case," said Michael Graveley, Kenosha County district attorney. "It appears that it was an accidental discharge of the weapon. An accidental death."
Javonn Cannon said his brother, Jovonn, kept a 9mm pistol under his bed. The complaint said Javonn put the gun on the bed and left the room to smoke marijuana. When he returned, he saw the 5-year-old and his older brother alone in the room, and the 5-year-old had Jovonn's gun.
Javonn said he told the 5-year-old to stop and give him the gun, but said he wouldn't -- putting the gun behind his back. Javonn said he then tried to take the gun away from the child. He said when he tried to snatch it from the boy, the gun went off. Javonn said he grabbed the gun and put it on the bed, and the 5-year-old began crying, with blood coming from his backside. It was determined the bullet entered the 5-year-old's abdomen and exited from his backside.
"He was in absolute shock when he heard the gun go off, and he had no idea that the gun was loaded," said Javonn Cannon's attorney.
The complaint said Jovonn ran upstairs and he and Javonn decided they didn't want to wait for an ambulance -- so they drove to the hospital. On the way, the complaint said Jovonn took a corner too fast and crashed into parked vehicles in front of the hospital. The complaint said at the hospital, Javonn jumped out of the back seat, carrying the child -- placing him on a bed in the ER. When hospital staff began checking him out, Javonn allegedly left -- taking his sister's vehicle back to the house, where the gun had been put in a bag. He said he then drove to his mother's house and hid the gun in the garage. He then met up with Jovonn, and they discussed going to the police department to discuss what happened.
Jovonn Cannon told police he went downstairs to get cleaning supplies, and when he went back to his bedroom, which he was cleaning, he heard a gunshot, and saw Javonn holding the 5-year-old. The complaint said Jovonn went with Javonn to the hospital.
Jovonn said he bought the gun on June 6, and said he had a concealed carry permit, the complaint says. He said he keeps the gun in the box it came in with the trigger lock on, but the lock wasn't on when the shooting happened. He said while cleaning his room, he slid the loaded gun under his bed.
Court commissioner Loren Keating called the case horrendous.
"It's a preventable tragedy. At least on the surface," Keating said.
The complaint said the gun was found where Javonn said it would be. A gun lock was found under the bed in Jovonn's bedroom. The complaint said marijuana was found in Javonn's bedroom.
The complaint also noted that no one involved in the incident called 911 until ER staff contacted law enforcement.
Javonn and Jovonn Cannon made their initial appearances in court Thursday. Cash bond was set at $10,000 for Javonn Cannon, and a preliminary hearing was set for June 28.
A $3,500 signature bond was set for Jovonn Cannon, and a pre-trial conference was scheduled for July 26.