Detroit man charged with shooting son, 2, while handling BB gun

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Detroit father handling a BB gun has been charged in connection with shooting his 2-year-old son last week, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Monday.

Melvin Phillips, 31, was arraigned in 36th District Court on second-degree child abuse. Judge Joseph Boyer set bond at $10,000.

Authorities allege Phillips was handling a BB gun kept on a china cabinet Friday afternoon at a home in the 4000 block of Bedford when the "weapon discharged striking his infant son in the lip," the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.  

Phillips and the child’s mother took him to a hospital. Police combed through the house and removed a gun, according to the release.

The 2-year-old was in stable condition, police said.

A probable cause conference for Phillips is scheduled for March 21. A preliminary examination follows a week later.

The incident was amid several other recent accidental shootings involving children in Detroit.

In February, police reported a 5-year-old boy was struck in the chest after finding his grandmother's gun beneath a bed; a 2-year-old shot himself using an unregistered firearm; and a teen died while playing with a weapon.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has said there were 15 nonfatal shooting cases involving children in 2021.

The issue pushed authorities to offer to deliver gun locks to residents.