A 22-year-old man facing a capital murder charge in the fatal shooting of a 2-year-old boy says the child shot himself and that he was not in the room when the gun went off, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained Monday afternoon by The Dallas Morning News.
According to Dallas County Jail records, Orlando Hidalgo has been charged with capital murder of a person under the age of 10 in the death of 2-year-old Anthony Isaiah Mares.
Mares was shot inside his home on the 9600 block of Beckleycrest Avenue and driven to Methodist Charlton Medical Center Sunday night where he died at about 9 p.m.
Investigators have not revealed the details of the moments leading up to the shooting, but did say Monday afternoon that they have recovered a weapon and a shell casing believed to be related to the case.
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According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Hidalgo told police he entered the residence with a handgun he said was given to him by a cousin who asked him to hold the weapon. He showed the weapon to Kancy Barrera, Mares' mother, who asked him to put the gun where her kids could not get to it. Barrera told police she was in the bathroom doing her two daughters' hair when she told her son to go put on his shoes so they could to his grandmother's house. Moments later she said she heard a loud bang and then heard Hidalgo yell her son's name. As she left the bathroom, she saw Hidalgo carrying her son in his arms. She took the child into her arms and then Hidalgo drove them to the hospital.
Hidalgo, according to the same affidavit, said after he heard a loud bang that he went to the bedroom and saw the boy standing in the room crying. He said he was not in the room when the gun went off and that the child shot himself with the gun.
In the affidavit, investigators said a search warrant was obtained to attempt to collect gunshot residue from Hidalgo's hand. The results of that swab are not yet known and investigators have not shared any other details about the case, the connection between Mares and Hidalgo or what led them to file the capital murder charge.
Dallas police, who are assisting the Dallas County Sheriff's Office with the investigation, initially said it was Mares' 22-year-old father who shot him and that he was being detained and questioned at the hospital. Investigators later confirmed that the suspect, Hidalgo, is not Mares' father and is not related to the victim.
The Texas Department of Family Services said they are investigating the case and that the victim's two older siblings are staying with relatives. DFPS said the family has a history of involvement with DFPS but that those interactions are confidential.
The Dallas County Sheriff's Department said Monday afternoon Hidalgo was booked into the jail at about 6 a.m. and is being held on $500,000 bond.
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