Neighbors devastated after accidental shooting kills 3-year-old boy in Ypsilanti

Posted at 6:04 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-14 18:04:41-05

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an accidental shooting that killed a 3-year-old boy.

It happened at the Country Meadow Apartments on Stevens Drive in Ypsilanti Township.

Neighbors tell 7 Action News they were in their apartments Sunday afternoon around 1 when suddenly they heard a gunshot and screams. 

They went into the hall and saw a mom holding a 3-year-old child bleeding from the neck. They saw a 10-year-old boy overcome with emotion, saying he never meant for this to happen.

“One of the kids found a gun in the closet. It was unsecured, unlocked. He was messing with the gun. It went off. He shoots the 3-year-old right in the neck,” said Derrick Jackson, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Director of Community Outreach. “The 3-year-old goes to run out of the room and collapses. Mom picks the three-year-old up, runs into the hallway. Neighbors called 911.”

Investigators questioned witnesses about what happened. The gun was legally owned, and while not locked up, put away in a closet. Did the owner of the gun have a legal responsibility to do more to secure it  Will anyone face charges? Investigators say that is still to be decided.

“It is a tragic reminder of the importance of securing firearms,” said Jackson.

Jackson says if you aren’t carrying your weapon it should be locked up in a safe or with a gun lock.  Many law enforcement agencies provide free gun locks to the public.