The father of an 11-month-old son in Philadelphia has been charged with recklessly endangering a child after he allegedly used the boy as a human shield against gunfire, according to prosecutors.
The toddler, Yaseem Munir Jenkins, was shot four times including once in the head and taken to the hospital in critical condition on Oct. 19.
Authorities said the boy was in the back of a car along with his father, Nafes Monroe, his stepmother and another man when shots rang out. They said Monroe was using his son as a human shield to thwart off a potential upset drug dealer, according to 6 ABC.
“He was using counterfeit money to purchase drugs, knowing that counterfeit money is something that is very upsetting to drug dealers, and when they find out that they're being burned with counterfeit money, they act violently,” Anthony Voci with the district attorney’s office told 6 ABC.
"It's our belief and our investigation has led us to believe that he intentionally had his child with him when he was making such types of purposes purchases with the idea or belief that if someone saw that he had a child in the car that they would not fire upon him," Voci added. "A human shield is probably the term that I would use."
Investigators said he drove his son who’d been shot to a house before taking him to the hospital. Voci said Monroe then “dropped his child off at the hospital and never looked back."
As of Tuesday, the child was still fighting for his life.
A suspect has been taken into custody but no charges have yet been filed.
Last month, a family spokesperson released a statement to 6 ABC on behalf of Yaseem's mother:
"My son is fighting for his life and it is not fair. He's innocent, so precious, and his smile will brighten up anyone's day. He's such a bubbly kid. So loving and lovable. How could anyone be so heartless! Please do the right thing and help us find some form of closure or answers in this tragic situation. Help us find the shooter. I can't eat or sleep. I need justice for my baby...For the coward who did this to him, you will pay, even if it not today or tomorrow. God will handle you accordingly."