The majority of accidental shooting cases involving children, are usually instances where one child shoots another with a gun that they should not have had access to. It is, however, rare to hear about a child who has shot an adult with a rifle, and what makes this case even stranger is the fact that the gun in question had been locked up in a gun cabinet, as it was supposed to be.
According to Alma Police, a 7-year-old boy accidentally shot his own stepfather with a high powered rifle while the family was sleeping. Officers were called to the family’s home shortly after midnight on Friday by the boy’s mother.
Although officers have not released many details about this scenario, we do know that the gun used was a high powered rifle that had been locked in a gun case. The young boy apparently found the keys to the gun case and unlocked it, and then took out the rifle and shot his stepfather. Police are still investigating this case with assistance from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, the St. Louis Police Department, and the Gratiot County Sheriff’s Office
Neighbors in the area have told the media that the family was a “hunting family”, which is common in that area. Alma is a small city surrounded by miles of farmland, and many people who live there, and in surrounding towns, enjoy hunting. When asked by police if they had heard anything, most people in the nearby houses said they had, but they thought it was a firecracker, given the fact that it’s been less than a week since the 4th of July.
Unfortunately, the stepfather died as a result of the gunshot injury.
We have very little information about the injury itself beyond the fact that it was a gunshot wound. Authorities are planning to conduct an autopsy. The shooting has already been determined to be an accident, says Alma Police Detective Jason Biehl, based on “circumstances, location of items, and statements from people talked to.”
The 7-year-old who fired the rifle wasn’t the only child in the house at the time. Officers contacted CPS to report the situation, and the children have since been removed from their mother’s custody. Although the removal of the children is said to be temporary until the investigation is completed by police, the poor mother, who has just lost her husband unexpectedly, now also has to contend with the loss of her children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with this family, as they navigate this unexpected tragedy. We can only hope that the children are returned to their mother’s care quickly, and that they are all able to find peace and healing in the wake of this terrible accident.