20-year-old Man who threw his 4-year-old brother from roof had history of mental illness
The Brooklyn man who tossed his 4-year-old brother off the roof of their seven-story apartment building told cops he “wanted to see if God could protect the kid,” police sources said Sunday.
Shawn Smith, 20, plucked his brother Shimron from his bed at about 2:40 a.m. Saturday and carried him from their family’s sixth-floor apartment to the Midwood building’s roof, the sources said.
He then tossed the child over the edge and, two minutes later, went down to the courtyard to check whether the boy was alive, according to sources.
Minutes later, he allegedly told cops, who found a steak knife on him, “I killed my brother.”
The night before, Smith, whom police sources have described as mentally disturbed, sat in his family’s living room maniacally laughing at nothing in particular, the siblings’ mother said on Sunday.
“He was laughing and laughing. Usually, he was a quiet person,’’ said the mom, Odessa Frith.
He went out but returned a few minutes before rousting Shimron while everyone in the home was sleeping early Saturday morning, law-enforcement sources said.
Smith had recently moved from Guyana to live here with his mother, little brother and three other siblings because he “was too much to handle” for his father back in Guyana, sources said.
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And in April, Smith threatened to kill himself on the same roof, according to his mother.
He was hospitalized for three weeks following a mental-health episode in July and had gone off his prescribed medication a few days before the killing, she said.
“I don’t even want to mention him now,” Frith said.
Frith, who moved here from Guyana in December, trembled and held her hands to her head as she eulogized her dead boy.
“My baby Shimron was just a joy,” she sobbed. “He touched everyone’s heart. Everyone he met loved him. He was a joy.”
She is expected to claim the boy’s body on Monday and also meet with Smith, who was still hospitalized late Sunday.
“Tomorrow I will go and identify one son and then go and support another son,” she said, according to Shimron’s teacher at PS 193, Dianne Coluccio.
Neighbors told cops that Smith was “strange” and “talked to himself’’ and that he told them he “saw things.’’
He also had a habit of going up on the roof and making noise, neighbors said.
The financially struggling family was apparently about to be evicted from the building, sources added.
Smith and Shimron were the oldest and youngest children in the family.
Frith’s next youngest son, who is 5, is having trouble comprehending what happened, the mom said.
“He doesn’t understand. He wants to know when Shimron is coming home,” she said.
Culled from New York Post