Brother of San Antonio boy who fatally shot himself charged with manslaughter

Brother of San Antonio boy who fatally shot himself charged with manslaughter
Justin Johnson was charged with manslaughter in the death of his 12-year-old brother. (Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

SAN ANTONIO — The older brother of a 12-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself in the head last week was charged with manslaughter, authorities said Saturday.

Justin Johnson, 21, of San Antonio, was arrested Saturday in connection with the death of Cojuan Singleton, KSAT reported. According to police, Johnson tried to grab the gun away from his brother, who had his finger on the trigger, the television station reported. The gun discharged, fatally striking Singleton in the head.

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The boy was taken to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Police said Johnson is being charged because his .40-caliber Glock handgun had been illegally modified to an automatic weapon, KENS-TV reported.

Johnson told police he was watching YouTube videos on Nov. 13 when he saw Singleton pick up the gun and shoot himself, WOAI reported. Johnson added that he did not have enough time to react and prevent the shooting, the television station reported.

Police said Johnson changed his story several times.

According to officials, Johnson said he kept the gun on a high shelf in his closet but “couldn’t explain how his brother got the weapon,” KSAT reported. Johnson later told another detective that he was cleaning the gun while sitting on the couch with his brother sitting next to him, the television station reported. According to Johnson, that is when the boy picked up the gun and accidentally shot himself.

According to an arrest affidavit, Johnson stated he bought the gun for protection when he was living on the streets before moving in with his mother, KSAT reported.

Johnson’s bail was set at $45,000, KENS reported.