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Police chief: 11-year-old’s shooting may be accidental after kids found gun

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 1:31 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - An 11-year-old boy remains in critical condition after he was shot inside his Flint home, but police believe the incident was an accident.

A 35-year-old man arrested in connection with the shooting has been released. Investigators now believe kids found a gun at their home in the 600 block of Crawford Street on Tuesday afternoon and were playing with it when the shooting happened.

“At this time, investigation reveals that the 11-year-old is probably accidentally shot,” said Flint Police Chief Terence Green.

He said investigators are still piecing together exactly what happened. They’re not even sure that man they arrested at the Walmart in Burton was at the home during the shooting.

Green said that information comes from the three other kids inside the home when their 11-year-old sibling was shot. They range in age from 9 to 14 years old. No adults were at the home when the shooting took place around 1:35 p.m.

“They got a hold of a firearm that was inside the house, the home, and the firearm went off and ended up shooting the 11-year-old,” Green said.

Investigators have not determined who pulled the trigger. Police tracked down and arrested a 35-year-old man who has a dating relationship with one of the 11-year-old’s family members, because Green said the young boy told officers that the man was involved.

Now, they’re not sure he was even at the home when it happened. A neighbor called 911 after hearing the kids screaming for help.

“I think the main issue is, firearms weren’t secured properly and kids got ahold of it,” Green said.

He added that happens quite often.

“And, you know, sometimes the events turn out very tragic,” Green said. “Hopefully the 11-year-old survives, but this this is the result of not properly securing a firearm in the home.”

A simple, potentially life-saving effort he’s encouraging all gun owners to practice.

“If it’s secured by a gun lock, there’s no way for them to pull the trigger,” Green said. “Definitely shouldn’t be loaded inside the home. It should be secured properly. I mean, that’s the best advice I can give parents. Because when parents are away, kids, they explore and that’s exactly what happened yesterday.”

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