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Michigan toddler kills 5-year-old cousin with father's gun they found in house

Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press on

Published in News & Features

DETROIT — Police in Detroit said an 18-month-old boy “got hold of a firearm ... and while playing with it, accidentally fired it, striking a 5-year-old male inside the house.”

The 5-year-old was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after the shooting at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Detroit police said.

The 27-year-old father of the victim, thought to be the owner of the handgun involved, has been arrested, Detroit police said. The incident occurred in the 2400 block of Sturtevant, south of Davison and west of the Lodge Freeway.

"It's a sad day in the city today," Detroit police 10th Precinct Commander Tiffany Stewart said, at a news conference about the tragedy. "We lost another child in the city of Detroit due to a lack of firearm safety. This was completely avoidable."

The toddler and the victim were cousins, police said. The father was home at the time of the shooting, along with the boys' grandmother and a 1-year-old girl, according to police.

A day earlier in Detroit, in an equally shocking case of gunfire involving a child, a 10-year-old boy was injured and his mother was killed in a hail of gunfire unleashed as the two were driving in southwest Detroit, police said. The two, from Ohio, were in the city visiting family members.

 

Police said the mother, 44, was driving west on Downing Street, near Schaefer and the Fisher Freeway, Tuesday afternoon when she stopped at South Bassett Street and the following happened:

"A black Chrysler 300 with tinted windows pulled up behind them. Four armed male suspects exited the Chrysler, approached the victim’s vehicle, and fired multiple shots into the vehicle, striking both victims. All four suspects returned to their vehicle and fled the area in an unknown direction.” According to the audio of a police dispatcher, the suspects wore ski masks and all-black clothing.

Police said they believe the shooting may be a case of mistaken identity. The dead woman's white SUV was found rolled up against a tree, riddled with bullets. Her son is in stable condition at Children’s Hospital in Detroit with two gunshot wounds to his legs, police said.

Anyone with information on that shooting should call the Detroit police Homicide Unit at (313) 596-2260.

(c)2021 the Detroit Free Press Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.