DETROIT, Mich. – A 4-year-old boy was shot and killed by his 4-year-old cousin after she found a loaded rifle under the bed in a relative’s Detroit home, police stated Friday.
According to police Sgt. Michael Woody, the girl was playing and watching TV with her cousins, a 4-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister, on Thursday afternoon when she found the gun. She reportedly picked up the weapon, pointed it at the boy and shot him once in the chest.
The boy was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, Woody confirmed. A man, believed to be a grandfather to at least one of the cousins, was the only adult present at the time, Woody said. It wasn’t immediately known whether or not the gun belonged to him.
Authorities said that an investigation into the matter is ongoing and the Wayne County prosecutor’s office will determine if charges should be brought.
“It’s a tragic incident,” Woody said. “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 was not released.
Woody cautioned that those with firearms should keep them secure, especially if children are present.
“This is a very senseless … incident that could have been avoided,” he stated.