Detroit mom charged with manslaughter in shooting death of 8-year-old daughter

Kara Berg
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Detroit mother has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse in connection with the fatal shooting of her 8-year-old daughter. 

Prosecutors said a 10-year-old child found an unsecured handgun Tuesday at Erica Graham's home in the 8840 block of Heyden Street and fired it, striking the 8-year-old and killing her, according to a news release. 

Graham, 31, was not home at the time of the shooting, police Chief James White said during a media briefing Tuesday, but she arrived home shortly after. Either Graham or a neighbor drove the girl to a fire station for help, White said.

Medics there took her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the release. 

The 8-year-old is at least the sixth child under age 11 to die by gunfire in Detroit this year, according to White. On Aug. 1, White said 50 children under age 18 had been shot in Detroit, 10 fatally. Since then, at least seven more children were shot in the city, two fatally.

"It's a very tragic situation," White said. "It should not have happened."

Graham was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree child abuse and felony firearm. 

“How many children have to die because of an unsecured weapon?" Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. "Why is it so hard to secure a gun when you know that children either live or visit your home frequently? Why are the deaths of these children acceptable, because surely if preventing these deaths was a priority, the political will to fix this would be at an all-time high."

kberg@detroitnews.com