Detroit father charged after 3-year-old boy shoots himself with gun found at home

Boy listed in critical condition; father in custody


DETROIT – The father of a 3-year-old boy who shot himself Tuesday morning was in court Thursday to be arraigned. 

Police said the boy shot himself after finding his father's loaded gun inside a house on Detroit's east side in the 5900 block of Marcus Street. The boy's father showed up at the hospital Tuesday morning with the injured child.

Melvin Cline (WDIV)
Melvin Cline (WDIV)

Now 34-year-old Melvin Cooley Cline III faces charges in connection to the shooting. He faces a second-degree child abuse charge, a felon in possession of a firearm charge, and a felony firearm charge. 

Authorities said the gun was stolen.

The prosecution said Cline has multiple prior felony convictions, including a home invasion.

Cline was arraigned Thursday at 36th District Court. A probable cause conference is scheduled for May 17, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for May 22.

Cline is being held on $100,000 bail.

Police said the boy was shot in the stomach about 10 a.m. Tuesday. He is still listed in critical condition.

According to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, the toddler picked up the gun in the living room while Cline and a woman were arguing. 

"It is alleged that the defendant left a loaded firearm accessible to his son while in his care and a resident of his household.  It is further alleged that Cline failed to provide a safe environment for his son," reads a statement from the Prosecutor's Office. 

Police interviewed both of the boy's parents for more information about the incident. The boy's father was taken into custody, but his mother was not.

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