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4-year-old boy shot by 4-year-old cousin in Detroit

10:36 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
A 4-year-old was fatally shot tonight by another 4-year-old, who found a loaded gun underneath a bed in a Detroit home in the 7100 block of Tuxedo. / Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press
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DETROIT (Det. Free Press) -- A 4-year-old boy was fatally shot Thursday by another 4-year-old, who found a loaded rifle underneath a bed in a home in Detroit, police said.

Sgt. Michael Woody, a Detroit police spokesman, said a brother, sister and their cousin were playing in the back bedroom of a home in the 7100 block of Tuxedo when the 4-year-old cousin found a rifle - loaded and not locked in a case - underneath the bed.

He said the girl pointed the gun at her cousin and pulled the trigger, shooting him in the chest.

Woody said police were called to the home at about 4:50 p.m. He said the child was taken to Henry Ford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police said there was one adult in the home at the time of the shooting.

Detroit police Capt. Rodney Cox said it's too early to tell whether any charges will be levied as a result of the shooting.

He called the shooting a "tragic, tragic accident," but one that was avoidable. Cox said the department stands behind responsible gun ownership, but "preliminarily, this does not appear to be responsible gun ownership."

Woody said guns should be kept unloaded, locked in a case and out of the reach of children.

"This is an example of how we must maintain gun safety," Cox said.

On Thursday night, crime scene investigators went in and out of the tidy brick house, passing by an illuminated porch light. Police cars blocked traffic on the street. The block, near the intersection of Monica, is a mix of occupied and vacant homes.

Neighbors who live nearby said they didn't hear any gunshots and aren't well-acquainted with the people who live there.

"It's so sad," said Jennifer Robinson, 29, of Detroit, as she left the home of a relative who lives on the street. She looked toward the flashing red and blue lights of a police car and shook her head.

Contact Gina Damron: 313-223-4526 or gdamron@freepress.com

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