Brooklyn Man Throws 4-Year-Old Brother Off Seventh-Floor Roof 'to See If God Could Protect' Him

"My baby Shimron was just a joy," Odessa Frith, Shimron's mother, told reporters through tears. Supplied

A Brooklyn, New York, man threw his 4-year-old brother off the roof of their seven-story apartment building because he "wanted to see if God could protect the kid," police sources said Sunday.

Twenty-year-old Shawn Smith allegedly took his younger brother Shimron from his bed around 2.30 a.m. Saturday. He carried him from their sixth-floor apartment to the roof of the building, where he threw Shimron off the edge to his death.

Shawn, who is reported to suffer from schizophrenia, was charged with second-degree murder after he confessed the crime to two police officers. Police said they have video footage to support his culpability.

According to the police, Shawn approached two uniform officers who were close by less than an hour after the incident. "I need to talk to you," he said, according to the police. "My brother may be hurt. He might be dead." Soon after, Smith allegedly said: "I killed him." Police also found a steak knife on him.

Shimron was found in a courtyard behind the building and was pronounced dead at the scene.

"My baby Shimron was just a joy," Odessa Frith, Shawn and Shimron's mother, told reporters through tears, according to the New York Post. "He touched everyone's heart. Everyone he met loved him. He was a joy."

"He was always smiling, always laughing and running, like the average 4-year-old," said Nicole Pierre, 30, a tenant in the building for 22 years, to The New York Times. "That's why this is so sad."

According to his mother, Frith, Shawn spent the evening before in a manic mood, laughing uncontrollably, which gave her concern. He had stopped taking his prescription medication a few days earlier, she said.

"The night before, he was sitting in this chair. He was laughing and laughing. Usually, he was a quiet person," Frith said.

Frith told the New York Post that Shawn had been hospitalized for three weeks after a mental health episode in July. Earlier, in April, she said, he had threatened to kill himself on the same roof where, according to neighbors, he regularly went and made noise.

Smith grew up in Guyana with his father but was recently sent to New York to live with his mother and four siblings because he "was too much to handle," according to sources who spoke to the New York Post. His mother moved to New York only last December.

The family struggled financially and was reportedly set to be evicted from the building.

Frith is expected to visit her son Shawn in the hospital today.