The family of a high school football player accused of shooting his twin brother says their father is to blame.
18-year-old high school football star Fayaad Gilliard is accused of fatally shooting his twin brother, Suhail Gilliard, a three-time All-Public League running back at Mastery Charter North.
Philadelphia police found Suhail with a gunshot wound to the chest inside their father’s apartment on Sunday around 5:20 p.m.
Fayaad and Suhail’s older brother, Nafis Woods, said the twins’ father Aleem Gilliard is the only one responsible for the tragedy.
He told ABC News:
My mother allowed them to visit their father after keeping them away because of the type of person he is. He doesn’t have much to show them far as being an idol, so he decided to show them guns out of all things — the thing that we try to keep them far away from.
These are kids that listen to their parents, they’re not disobedient or dishonest. They’re like babies.
He demonstrated how to load and unload the gun and then he handed it to Fayaadh and told him to do the same thing and it accidentally went off. He was clearly inexperienced with even touching a gun.
My baby sister was also there. She said they everyone started screaming and hollering when it happened.
He made sure they understood to tell a detailed and specific lie to make sure that he was covered.
He even made them walk down flights of stairs to the lobby of the place to make it seem as if it didn’t happen in the apartment so that he wouldn’t get in trouble.
After the shooting, Aleem, who has a long history of arrests and is paralyzed from a gun-related incident, allegedly told Fayaad to tell police Suhail was shot by someone else, somewhere else, because he is currently on probation and is prohibited from possessing firearms.
The twins’ uncle, Hasan Ford, told ABC News:
As a family, our desire is that their father acknowledges the role that he played and takes for this tragedy — to make it clear to police that it was an accident and to make it clear where the firearms came from.
We want him to acknowledge that his children were following his tutelage, his instruction and his advice. He needs to tell the truth and let everyone know that every decision that they made was only as a result of him and his ideas and his intent.
These kids are the farthest that you can imagine from being involved in any form of street life. Their father is involved knee-deep into that life, so for him, this is his way of showing his children that he is somebody.
Lawyer Shaka Johnson, who is representing the family, said what Aleem Gilliard did was “the single most reckless thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”
It’s unclear if Aleem Gilliard will be charged in the shooting of his son.