DETROIT (WXYZ) — A 2-year-old child was taken to Children's Hospital seriously injured after shooting himself in the face with what police initially described as a "high powered BB gun," but have since said was a pellet gun.
Police say the young boy may require surgery.
It happened Friday afternoon in the 4000 block of Bedford Street on Detroit's east side.
It's at least the fifth time so far this year that a child has been shot accidentally, and police are cracking down on what they call irresponsible gun ownership.
"We have to keep access away from kids because this has happened too many times this year,” said Commander Keeth Williams with the Detroit Police Department's 5th Precinct. "A BB gun, a pellet gun, a real gun can all harm or kill someone, especially a kid.”
Police say the shot knocked out teeth and left fragments of the pellet in the boy's lip. They say he got control of the gun after it fell from a dresser.
"Apparently the pellet gun was on the dresser. Somehow it fell down, the kid gained access to it and at some point in time was injured with that pellet gun,” Williams said.
In the wake of these accidental shootings, police have vowed to hold parents accountable. Just this week, a 68-year-old grandmother was arraigned on second-degree child abuse charges in the accidental shooting of her 5-year-old grandson.
"We cant tiptoe around this; there are no nice words to put on this," Chief James White said on the day of the shooting on Feb. 17. "People have to be responsible with these guns. They have to care about these babies.”
In this latest case involving a pellet gun, the father was arrested and police say he could be facing child endangerment charges as a result of the shooting.
However as they investigated at the home, police discovered a stolen Jeep SRT along with auto parts and are now also investigating whether this house was possibly a chop shop.
Despite this new discovery, the message of gun safety remains top of mind.
"We have to send a message to not only parents, but the community as well," Williams said. "It's important for parents to make sure their kids don't have access to weapons and to keep them in a safe spot.”