‘Got my Daddy’s gun:’ Father charged with neglect in 5-year-old’s shooting

Joseph Salinas

MILWAUKEE — Joseph Salinas of Milwaukee faces multiple charges in connection with the shooting of his 5-year-old son.

Salinas, 33, faces the following criminal charges:

  • Neglecting a child – consequence is great bodily harm
  • Obstructing an officer
  • Carrying a concealed weapon

According to the criminal complaint, officers were called to a home near 61st and Villard on Friday, Aug. 10 for a shooting investigation. When officers arrived on the scene, the child said “I got my Daddy’s gun and shot myself.”

When questioned at the hospital, Salinas told police he and his son “were at their house and laid down to take a nap.” Salinas owns a .357 Magnum revolver and said during the nap “he put the gun up on the top shelf of a six-foot tall cabinet with glass shelving.” Salinas said “his son must have climbed up the glass shelving and retrieved the gun.” Salinas woke from the nap “because he thought he heard a gunshot.” When he saw his son sitting on the stairs and crying, Salinas took the boy to the hospital.

At the hospital, Salinas told investigators the gun was back on top of the glass cabinet at the house. But when they followed him back to the house, they stopped him before he went inside. Investigators found “the gun was actually in the defendant’s right pants pocket.” Salinas does not have a concealed carry permit, according to the complaint.

If convicted on the most serious of the charges, Salinas faces up to 12-and-a-half years in prison and $25,000 in fines.