3-year-old boy shot, killed in Detroit; mother's boyfriend turns self in

Demetrius Lorenzo Peals named person of interest in shooting

DETROIT – The person Detroit police were searching for in connection to to the deadly shooting of a 3-year-old has turned himself in.

Demetrius Lorenzo Peals, 22, turned himself in to police Thursday morning. 

Peals is the boyfriend of the victim's mother. Police said he was in the apartment when the boy was shot Wednesday night on the city's east side.

Police say Peals dumped the injured boy in the arms of emergency medical workers and took off, making him a prime person of interest in the child's death.

"It's senseless," Assistant Detroit Police Chief Arnold Williams said. "There's no reason for a child to lose their life."

"This should never happen," Williams said. "It should never happen. It's inexcusable."

Detroit police don't know if the boy got ahold of a gun or if someone else pulled the trigger. They said the mother's story has changed a few times.

Neighbors were shocked by the scene outside the apartment complex on Rossiter Street and Morang Avenue on the city's east side.

"It's mind-boggling," neighbor Sisley Davis said. "It's sad, especially with children."

Investigators said medical officials were investigating a report of a body near the apartment complex when Peals came running out of the apartment to flag down a crew with his girlfriend's injured son in his arms.

"The child had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the face," Williams said. "EMS took the child to an area hospital."

But the 3-year-old boy didn't survive.

"We need to do better with securing our guns and knowing what is going on," Davis said.

Right now, police aren't certain what led to the shooting. They said the mother's story isn't adding up. She told officers someone fired a shot into the apartment from outside.

At the time, she was inside with the 3-year-old boy, his 1-year-old sibling and Peals.

"Nothing (the mother) said was confirmed by evidence on-scene," Williams said. "Whatever happened appeared to have happened inside the apartment."

Detectives didn't find a weapon anywhere at the home, and they haven't seen Peals since he passed the child off to medical officials.

Peals is not the father of the boy. Police aren't sure if the mother was in the room with the child when the gun went off, so it's unclear if she's covering for Teals or repeating what he told her.

Police said they believe Peals knows exactly what happened to the boy.