Boy playing with gun shoots and kills 4-year-old brother

The boys' mother, Itiyanah Spruill.

The boys' mother, Itiyanah Spruill.  (Essex County Prosecutor's Office)

Authorities said a 6-year-old New Jersey boy playing with a gun fatally shot his 4-year-old brother in the head over the weekend -- and their mother now faces charges.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office said the children were at their home in East Orange when the shooting occurred about 11 a.m. Saturday.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly said the child was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:26 p.m. He said the shooting apparently was an accident.

Fennelly said the boy's mother, 22-year-old Itiyanah Spruill, has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and a weapons violation. Bail was set at $310,000. He said she was jailed, pending arraignment.

A city spokeswoman said the gun belonged to the boy's mother. It wasn't immediately known how the 6-year-old got the gun.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.