Health + Safety

Tragic: Detroit 4-Year-Old Shoots 4-Year-Old Cousin In Fatal Accident

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A 4-year-old boy was shot and killed at his grandfather’s home in Detroit on Thursday, Jan. 16. The incident happened on accident after the boy and his two cousins, also ages 4 and 5, found a rifle underneath a bed. The gun was loaded, and not locked in a secure case. The 4-year-old female cousin, who found the gun, playfully pointed the rifle at her cousins’ chest and pulled the trigger.

The boy was taken to Henry Ford Hospital, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. There was one adult in the household at the time of the shooting, but reports have been varied about the person’s relation to the children. Detroit police said it was too early to determine whether any charges would be brought as a result of the shooting, but say it was a tragic accident that could have been avoided.

“It’s a tragic incident,” said police Sgt. Michael Woody to The Associated Press. “It’s really not anything more than that. There was no malicious intent. There was nothing there to suggest that the grandfather put those children in harm’s way, but the investigation will continue.”

Woody reinforces the importance of safe gun ownership, especially when there are children around.

(Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)