Dad charged after 18-year-old son shoots, kills twin brother

Charges against twin who fired deadly shot dropped.

OVERBROOK — A father is now charged with the shooting death of his 18-year-old son, rather than the victim’s twin brother who was holding the gun at the time.

Friday, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office reported charges were filed against Aleem Gillard, who turned 42 just three days earlier.

On Dec. 1, Fayaadh Gillard shot his twin Suhail Gillard to death, and was charged in the killing.

Philadelphia police say at about 5:23pm, officers responded to the father’s home, in the 1100 block of N. 63rd Street in Overbrook, for a report of a person with a gun. They found Suhail Gillard, from the 1100 block of Harrison Street in Frankford, shot in the chest. He died less than four hours later.

But the D.A.’s Office has announced the case was not clear-cut. It said in a statement,

“A thorough and careful investigation led the DAO to conclude that while Fayaadh did fatally shoot his brother, it was a result of a tragic accident with no criminal intent on his part.”

Wednesday, the D.A.’s Office dropped all charges against Fayaadh Gillard, including homicide.

Thursday evening, police arrested the father.

CHARGED: Aleem Gillard, from Philadelphia Police Department

The DA’s Office alleges,

“Aleem Gillard, who was in possession of at least two firearms despite being lawfully prohibited from doing so due to a felony conviction, was criminally responsible for Suhail Gillard’s death and for endangering Fayaadh and their 16-year-old sister, who were present at the time of the incident.”

“While our office’s initial decision to prosecute Fayaadh Gillard was rooted in the fact, volunteered by him, that he was holding the gun that caused his brother’s death, further careful investigation led us to conclude that this was a horrifically tragic accident for which Fayaadh Gillard, already grieving and traumatized, should not be held criminally liable,”

D.A. Larry Krasner said.

“Further careful investigation led us to find that Fayaadh and his younger sister were also victims of a criminal act, by their father who put the lives of his three children in danger on that terrible day. Not only did Aleem Gillard encourage his children to handle a deadly weapon, resulting in the accidental shooting of one of his twin boys, he later instructed his two surviving, traumatized children to lie to authorities so that he could keep himself out of prison. Aleem Gillard must now answer for the reckless, criminal behavior that resulted in the death of his child.”

Fayaadh and Suhail Gillard were both seniors at Mastery Charter School Lenfest Campus in Old City, and known to be talented student athletes.

The D.A.’s Office says they were extremely close, according to interviews with relatives and school officials.

Aleem Gillard is charged with involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor, violation of the Uniform Firearms Act (possession of a firearm by a convicted felon), tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, and related charges.

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