FLORIDA CITY, FLA. (WSVN) - - Nearly 100 loved ones and friends attended a memorial for a 13-year-old who was fatally shot by her stepbrother, Tuesday, in what family members called an accident.
Martaevious Santiago, is accused of killing his stepsister, Tedra King, inside their Florida City home, Tuesday night. On Thursday night, family, friends and classmates gathered in front of the home to remember the 13-year-old.
“The support is amazing,” Tedra’s father, Tedrick King said. “I never expected that she had this much love. She was just that sweet little child that everyone loved.”
Friends and classmates wrote messages for the late teen, known to loved ones as “Rosie,” who died in what her family called a freak accident.
“I just cleaned the blood off my feet, it was not intentional,” Shamara Pereall, a family friend said.
Police said Martaevious was playing with a gun on his 17th birthday, Tuesday night, when he pulled the trigger, shooting King in the head. Martaevious called 911, but his stepsister was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police arrested Martaevious and charged him with manslaughter.
The family insists it was an accident.
“Rosie went in the house. We heard a pop, everyone came and ran in the house and [Martaevious] ran out of the door and said, ‘I shot Rosie by accident. I shot Rosie by accident,'” Pereall said.
“I know from the bottom of my heart that he loved his sister and he’d never do anything of that nature intentionally,” Tedrick added.
Loved ones consoled King’s mother during the memorial.
A judge decided Thursday that her nine other children will be split between three family members while the Florida Department of Children and Families figure out their next steps.
“Being charged with her death. I don’t agree with that because he’s being punished enough by the fact that he know what he did,” King said. “It’s gonna bother him for the rest of his life and then every time his birthday comes around he’ll never enjoy his birthday again.”
The state attorney’s office is building a case to charge Martaevious as an adult. He will remain in secure detention until his next hearing in May.
Family members said Tedra’s funeral will be held next Saturday, May 6, at Second Baptist Church.
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