A Detroit four year old was shot to death in a potentially avoidable gun safety case on Thursday. The shooter, his four year old cousin.
The two young children were playing in a back bedroom, alone, when they apparently discovered what the four year old girl called “a long gun”. The gun was loaded and early indicators are that the safety was not on. While playing with the gun, the girl cousin pointed it at the boy’s chest and pulled the trigger. As the gun fired, the little boy was shot in the chest. Though the boy was transported to the hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.
So where were the parents in all of this? Apparently not home. The only other people in the home at the time of the shooting were another five year old cousin and the children’s grandfather. Detroit Deputy Chief Rodney Johnson told reporters, “It’s too early to say if charges will be filed in this case.” The questions are certainly being raised about adult supervision and why the gun was not properly stored.
Gun laws require the weapons to be stored unloaded and in a locked compartment or case. According to Police Capt. Rodney Cox, “preliminarily, this does not appear to be responsible gun ownership.” It would seem the two Detroit children were able to easily access the gun. Detroit police, who believe in responsible gun ownership, are investigating further into how these two four year olds could get to the weapon so easily.
Gun control and safety has been an issue in the Detroit area lately because of the fatal shooting of Renisha McBride. McBride was a young african american woman who ran her car into another parked car early one rainy morning in Detroit. She stumbled onto the doorway of Theodore Wafer, about half a mile away. Autopsy reports revealed a very high blood-alcohol level. Wafer opened fire on the young girl from inside his house with a shotgun. He told police he “feared for his life.” He is awaiting trial in June.
The latest shooting death of the four year old boy in west Detroit is sure to have lawmakers looking at their gun policies. However, if it is ruled that the owner of the gun was not following the law, charges could be filed. No arrests have been made at this time.
Neighbors Dennis and Olivia Queensbury, who have a young son themselves, spoke about the tragic accident.
“I’m hurt.” said Dennis, “I’m hurting real bad for the family.”
“Every time I used to be with them, they would always be laughing and be coming across the street to my house and ask if I want to play with them,” said Olivia Queensbury, “The little boy always had a smile on his face, I could tell you that.”
The families and names of the four year old boy and girl and have not been released at this time.