A 1-year-old boy is “very fortunate” to be alive after being shot twice by his 6-year-old brother, who found a loaded handgun inside their Detroit home, according to police.
On Wednesday (June 7), the Associated Press reported that the toddler was allegedly in a baby bouncer when the older boy shot the infant in the cheek and left shoulder, Detroit police said.
Six-Year-Old Boy Shoots Infant Brother In Cheek, Shoulder, Authorities Lament ‘Preventable’ Incident
The gun in question was reportedly unregistered. Both children have not been publicly named due to their age.
As of Thursday, the younger child remains hospitalized, according to WDIV-TV.
Meanwhile, assistant Detroit Police Chief Charles Fitzgerald characterized Wednesday’s shooting as “preventable.”
“We are very, very fortunate that child is still with us,” Chief Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald also begged gun owners in the community to safely store their firearms away from children.
“We’re here far too often talking about securing your weapons,” Fitzgerald said, as per CBS News. “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.”
Mother, Father Were Near But Not Present During Non-Fatal Detroit Shooting, Police Say
The shooting comes months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a law that requires gun owners to keep their weapons in a locked storage box, especially when it is “reasonably known that a minor is or is likely to be present on the premises.”
That legislation takes effect in 2024, the Associated Press reported back in April.
Police say that at the time of the shooting, the child’s mother was visiting a neighbor down the block. The father was reportedly in the backyard working on a fence.
Both Parents Cooperating With Authorities, Six-Year-Old Possibly Facing Criminal Charges
The two parents are fully cooperating with investigations into the non-fatal shooting.
Police justified the need for a search warrant to enter the home.
Evidence collected during that search will be presented to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether any criminal charges will be filed, according to the Detroit News.
No charges have been filed as of Friday (June 9), the AP reports.