DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A 4-year-old child in Detroit has been killed, apparently as the result of an accidental shooting at the hands of his own cousin.
The incident happened Thursday afternoon at the children’s grandfather’s home on Tuxedo Street, near Livernois and Davison on the city’s west side. The victim is a boy, police said, the tot who pulled the trigger is a girl.
“They were playing in a room inside the home; the female found a long gun underneath the bed and pointed it at the male 4-year-old and pulled the trigger,” Detroit Police Public Information Officer Adam Madera said.
The boy, who was shot once in the chest, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name wasn’t immediately released.
A family friend was the only adult at the home at the time of the shooting, Sgt. Michael Woody said, and it wasn’t immediately known who owns the gun. An investigation is ongoing and the Wayne County prosecutor’s office will determine whether charges should be brought, he said.
“It’s a tragic incident,” Woody told The Associated Press. “It’s really not anything more than that. There was no malicious intent. There was nothing there to suggest that the grandfather put those children in harm’s way, but the investigation will continue.”
The gun was a small-caliber rifle, Woody said, but details about the exact type, size and weight weren’t immediately available. A 4-year-old might not be able to maintain control of such a rifle when it was fired, but that isn’t an issue in this case because only one shot was fired, he said.
“Would they be able to pick it up with two hands, point it and pull the trigger? Definitely,” he said.
Woody said the shooting reinforces the need for those with guns to keep them secure – especially when there are children around.
“This is a very senseless … incident that could have been avoided,” he said.
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