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Father of Bronx 5-Year-Old Shot by Illegal Gun Arrested

By Jess Wisloski | February 23, 2013 3:06pm

MELROSE — The father of a 5-year-old boy who was shot in the shoulder Friday morning in The Bronx was arrested in connection to the boy's injury Saturday, police said.

Denny Pantoja, 33, was charged with criminal possesion of a firearm and reckless endangerment of a child, police said, after investigators discovered the boy had been playing with the gun, which had been kept loaded inside the family's Westchester Avenue apartment, and shot himself, a source said.

Pantoja, who flagged down cops to rush the boy to the hospital, initially blamed the injury on a gunpoint robbery at a check cashing site, sources said, then later changed his story to say that he was to blame for the shooting, calling it an accident.

Sources said they thought he was trying to cover up for his 11-year-old son, who they believed may have been playing with the gun when it went off.

Police recovered the illegal .38 caliber revolver inside the family home, cops said.

The boy was taken to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in serious but stable condition Friday, and police had no updated condition on Saturday.