DETROIT – Detroit police are searching for a 22-year-old man in connection with the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old boy on Detroit's east side.
Police are searching for Demetrius Lorenzo Peals, the boyfriend of the 3-year-old boy's mother. He has been named a person of interest in the case.
"Please turn yourself in to the nearest police station," Assistant Detroit Police Chief Arnold Williams said.
Police said the child was shot around 7 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 11700 block of Rossiter Street, near Morang Avenue. The 3-year-old was taken to St. John Hospital and pronounced dead, officials said.
Williams said the child was shot in the face. Williams said emergency medical officials were at the scene of a body that was found in the 11000 block of Morang Avenue when Peals ran out of a building across the street with a child in his arms.
Police said Peals gave the child to the officials, who realized the child had a gunshot wound on his face. Officials took the boy to St. John Hospital in critical condition, but the child died from his injuries.
"It's senseless," Williams said. "There's no reason for any child to lose their lives. This should never happen. It should never happen. It's inexcusable."
Williams said the mother told police there was a conflict between neighbors and the gunshot was fired from outside the building, but officers didn't find evidence of shots fired from outside.
Williams said police believe the shot was fired inside the building. The mother was in the home with Peals, the 3-year-old and a 1-year-old child. Police believe the mother and the 1-year-old child were in another room when Peals ran outside with the victim.
Peals has a previous criminal record of breaking and entering, police said. He couldn't be found after handing the boy to medical officials.
Peals is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.
No weapon was found inside the home.
There were no other injuries in the shooting, Williams said.
Police were called to the scene to investigate the body that had been found across the street from the shooting. It's unclear if that person's death was suspicious or natural, but Williams said the child was able to get to the hospital quickly only because medical officials were already right across the street.
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