Detroit 2-year-old shoots himself after finding gun under bed, police say

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A 2-year-old shot himself Monday at a home on Detroit's east side, police said.

The toddler was in a room where his mother had an unregistered firearm under the bed, police Chief James White told reporters.

"Somehow the baby makes it out of the bed, grabs the weapon, discharges the weapon into his hand," he said. "It goes through his hand and through his shoulder, barely missing his head."

Police did not indicate what time Monday the shooting occurred. The boy was rushed to a hospital and faces surgery, White said. He was listed in temporary serious condition late Monday.

Other details were not released.

Police are expecting to seek charges against the mother, "but we want to make sure that she's here to make sure the baby's OK," the chief said.

White called the incident "an unnecessary tragedy" that underscores the need for responsible gun ownership.

"It's a tremendous responsibility to have a gun," he said. "It just is. And if we're not going to be responsible, and we're having our babies get shot by adult decisions — I mean, it's just irresponsible and we just got to do better."

The shooting came weeks after a 3-year-old boy was wounded in an accidental shooting at a Detroit apartment complex.

A woman who had been visiting his mother had a gun in a coat pocket. She has been charged with one count of careless, reckless, or negligent use of a firearm.

In December, a 2-year-old boy shot himself in the leg on the city's north side. His mother was charged after he found an allegedly unsecured handgun at their home.

Also in Detroit, 5-year-old boy shot himself in the head with an unsecured gun in August. His father was charged