DETROIT – A young toddler was shot twice Wednesday evening by his 6-year-old brother who got ahold of an unsecured gun at a home in Detroit, according to police.
At about 7:42 p.m. on June 7, a 1-year-old boy was in a baby bouncer when his 6-year-old brother got his hands on an unsecured, fully-loaded handgun, Detroit police said. The 1-year-old was reportedly shot twice: once through the cheek, and once through the left shoulder.
The child was hospitalized and remained hospitalized as of Thursday morning. Police said Wednesday that it was “very fortunate” the child was still alive.
At the time of the shooting, police say the child’s father was in the backyard working on a fence at the home on Tennessee Street, which is in the area of East Jefferson and Dickerson avenues. The child’s mother was reportedly visiting with a friend down the street.
Detroit police are urging households with firearms to safely store their weapons, calling Wednesday’s shooting “preventable.”
“We’re here far too often talking about securing your weapons. There are gun locks, there are gun safes, there are the highest shelves you can find in your house. Put the gun up as high as you possibly can,” said Assistant Chief Charles Fitzgerald.
Police did not report having anyone in custody as of Thursday morning. Investigators were reportedly working to get a search warrant for the home.
Child shootings are an ongoing issue in Detroit. The state of Michigan recently enacted new storage rules for gun owners, particularly if those weapons are near or have the potential to be near children/minors at any time. The news rules were signed into law in April, and will take effect early next year.
A gun owner who fails to properly store a firearm under the new rules could face a slew of penalties, should that gun be used by a minor to hurt or kill themself or others.