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Toddler in Detroit home shoots and kills 5-year-old; father arrested

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An 18-month-old child shot dead a 5-year-old boy playing with a gun in a Detroit home on Wednesday, police said.

“It’s a sad day in town today,” said Tiffany Stewart, detroit Police Department commander, during a press conference Wednesday about the horrific gunfire. “We lost another child in the city of Detroit to a lack of gun safety. It was completely preventable.”

The 18-month-old boy, a boy and the victim were cousins, police said. Police arrested the 5-year-old’s 27-year-old father, who is also the 18-month-old’s uncle, in connection with the incident, Stewart said. The police are investigating whether the gun was “lying around” in the house, she said.

The father was at home with the boys’ grandmother and a 1-year-old girl at the time of the shooting, according to police.

Police received a call from a child who was shot dead by another child around 9:30 a.m. in a house on the 2400 block of Sturtevant Street on the west side of Detroit. When the police got home, they found the 5-year-old shot in the neck once. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died. The police found the gun, a Glock, Stewart said.

“It was reported that an 18-month-old man in the apartment had a gun in his hand that was accessible … grabbed it … started playing and accidentally shot the 5-year-old,” Stewart said. “We arrested the father on additional questions about the circumstances … to see if that was the case or not.”

“I’m not sure the 18-year-old doesn’t even know what happened,” said Stewart. “For this reason, we attach great importance to the safety of guns with gun locks and weapon cases so that we don’t have such circumstances. There have been far too many of these circumstances in the city of Detroit.”

The children’s identity was not released on Wednesday.

The circumstances of the incident are still being investigated. Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 313-596-2260.

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