5-year-old shoots himself in Eastpointe after finding uncle’s gun in recliner cushion, police say

Laron Alston charged with second-degree child abuse

Laron Genta Alston (Eastpointe Police Department)

EASTPOINTE, Mich. – A 5-year-old boy shot himself in the foot after finding his uncle’s gun in the cushion of a recliner, Eastpointe police said.

Officers were called at 4:49 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 9) to a home in the 16000 block of Juliana Avenue. When they arrived, they found a 5-year-old boy bleeding from his left foot, according to authorities.

Investigators said the child’s uncle, Laron Genta Alston, 42, of Eastpointe, owns a .40-caliber Sig Sauer handgun but doesn’t have a gun safe. He chose to put the weapon inside the cushion of a recliner for safekeeping, officials said.

Alston was watching his nephew when the child found the loaded gun and shot himself, according to police.

The 5-year-old was taken to a nearby medical facility, where he is doing fine, Eastpointe officials said.

A second gun was also removed from the home, according to authorities.

Alston was arrested and taken to the Eastpointe Police Department. He was arraigned Wednesday at 38th District Court on a charge of second-degree child abuse, which is a 10-year felony.

Bond was set at $15,000 cash/surety, or 10%. Alston isn’t allowed to have contact with his nephew or witnesses, or possess a firearm, police said.


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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.