The 20-year-old man who threw his young brother off a rooftop over the weekend reportedly suffers from mental illness. According to the Post, Shawn Smith told police that he "wanted to see if God could protect the kid."
On Saturday, around 3:30 a.m., police found four-year-old Shimron Smith unconscious and unresponsive in the courtyard of 2425 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, and his older brother was taken into custody.
Shawn Smith allegedly flagged a police car and told police, "Can I speak to you? I need to tell you something... I think my brother’s hurt. Take me there and I’ll tell you more." After leading them to his brother's body and being taken into custody, Smith said, "I’ve finally become a criminal!"
20-year-old Shawn Smith charged with murder after he allegedly tossed his 4-year-old brother from a Brooklyn building. Cops say he admitted throwing him off roof. Relatives say he suffers from schizophrenia. When asked if he meant to hurt his brother he responded “not really.” pic.twitter.com/HQImk63xa1
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) September 29, 2018
Smith was charged with murder.
A relative told WABC 7 that Smith, who moved from Guyana within the past year, has schizophrenia and was recently treated for mental illness.
His mother, Odessa Frith, spoke to the Post, and said the night before the tragedy her older son "was laughing and laughing. Usually, he was a quiet person."
Neighbors remembered Shimron as "playful" and Smith as "a little off."
"We have to find the way to mend the brokenness that occurred through this, but then also find a way to actually continue the conversation on mental health," community activist Anthony Bedford said to WCBS 2.