DETROIT (AP) — A 4-year-old girl accidentally shot her 4-year-old cousin to death with a loaded rifle that she found under a bed at their grandfather’s Detroit home, police said Friday.
The girl was playing and watching TV on Thursday afternoon with the 4-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister when she found the gun, police Sgt. Michael Woody said. He said she picked up the weapon, pointed it at the boy and shot him once in the chest.
The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Woody said. A family friend was the only adult at the home on the city’s west side at the time, Woody said, and it wasn’t immediately known who owns the gun.
An investigation is ongoing and the Wayne County prosecutor’s office will determine whether charges should be brought, he said.
“It’s a tragic incident,” Woody told 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.”
The boy’s name wasn’t immediately released.
The gun was a small-caliber rifle, Woody said, but details about the exact type, size and weight weren’t immediately available. A 4-year-old might not be able to maintain control of such a rifle when it was fired, but that isn’t an issue in this case because only one shot was fired, he said.
“Would they be able to pick it up with two hands, point it and pull the trigger? Definitely,” he said.
Woody said the shooting reinforces the need for those with guns to keep them secure — especially when there are children around.
“This is a very senseless … incident that could have been avoided,” he said.
On Thursday night, investigators went in and out of the brick house. Police cars blocked traffic. Neighbors told the Detroit Free Press that they didn’t hear a gunshot.
“I was just devastated,” said 77-year-old neighbor Dorothy Jameson. “I was wondering why two 4-year-olds have access to a gun in the first place.”
Dennis Queensbury, who told The Detroit News that he has a concealed pistol license, said gun owners need to secure their firearms.
“I have three children: 16, 9 years old and 20,” Queensbury said, after watching officers at the scene. “But I have a gun lock. You have to have a lock and safes, and be careful.”
(AP Photo: A crime scene vehicle is parked Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 outside a house in Detroit where 4-year-old girl accidentally shot her 4-year-old cousin to death.)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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