Child accidentally shoots self after finding gun in mother's purse, police say

Child pulled trigger, accidentally shot himself in hand

DETROIT – A 9-year-old boy shot himself in the hand after finding a firearm in his mother's purse, Detroit police said.

Chief James Craig said the boy is in critical condition despite getting shot in the hand.

Detroit police were called to investigate the shooting Saturday morning in an apartment off the Lodge Freeway and Grand Boulevard.

"The child was going the parent's purse possibly looking for candy, came across the weapon," Craig said.

The child pulled the trigger and accidentally shot himself in the hand, but Craig made it clear that he doesn't consider this an accident.

"I do support law-abiding citizens, Detroiters, to have CPLs, but I've also indicated in a very strong way the importance of training," Craig said.

The gun is registered to the mother, who has a concealed carry permit.

"You're not a responsible CPL holder if children gain access to your weapon," Craig said.

The chief considers this more than being neglectful; he calls it criminal.

"My position is simple: We will vigorously go after the parent or adult that allows a child to gain possession," Craig said.

It's unclear if any other children were in the apartment at the time. Neighbors in the complex didn't want to talk about the possible criminal charges the mother faces. Everyone is hoping the child pulls through.

"The child is in critical condition. We're prayerful that he's going to pull through, but we are going to make sure the parent is held responsible," Craig said.

Child Protective Services is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.