A stray bullet killed a sleeping boy in his Detroit home early Wednesday, according to city police. The child was struck when a bullet fired from outside went through his home’s wall and into his room.
Officer Adam Madera told Fox News that the shooting happened at the Brewster Homes complex on Detroit’s east side and the child was pronounced dead after 45 minutes at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Madera stated that the boy “was sleeping in his room and gunshots were fired from outside.” No arrests were made in the case, but Detroit police had a “person of interest” in the case that they were speaking to.
Reuters notes that the boy was identified by family and neighbors as Jakari Pearson. He lived at home with his mother. His aunt, Denise Berry, told a local TV station, “He was just a little boy, trying to enjoy life.”
Friends and relatives largely declined to talk to reporters, but neighbor Tenesha Higgins recalled hearing five or six loud booms — something she called common in the public housing complex. She stated, “I was just laying down to sleep. I heard the gunshots. It sounded like it was literally in front of the house. I waited, then I heard screaming and police sirens.”
When she opened her door, she saw the boy hit by a stray bullet laying in the street, adding that it seemed the mother’s boyfriend was trying to rush him to the hospital. Higgins added of the boy killed in his sleep, “He was a good boy. He liked to lay basketball.”
Neighbors and passersby started a makeshift memorial on the front porch of Pearson’s home, leaving bears, dogs, and other toy animals. Propped on the toys were handwritten cardboard signs saying, “UNITED WE STAND…STOP THE VIOLENCE!!!!” and other comments condemning the shooting.
The slaying of Jakari Pearson by a stray bullet follows the July 1 shooting death of a 2-year-old girl south of Detroit. The toddler, KaMiya Gross, was killed in front of her father as retaliation for an earlier shooting, according to police. Two men were charged in her murder.
Higgins told reporters that she is tired of the violence that has been on the rise in the neighborhood over the past decade. She explained, “It can get very dangerous. These guys get away with a lot of stuff. They have numerous break-ins. I haven’t been to sleep. I don’t feel safe at all. I didn’t go to work today. I didn’t want to leave my baby.”
The sleeping boy killed by a stray bullet was supposed to enter the fourth grade at Spain Elementary this year.
[Image via Fox News]