Police recommend charges be filed after teen dies during friend's gunplay

- A 13-year old boy is dead after what's believed to be a tragic accident that could have been prevented.

EJ Watkins was shot and killed as his friends played with their grandmother's loaded gun. The grandmother was taken for questioning by police Monday evening.

One day after EJ was shot and killed while police say his friends were playing with a loaded handgun investigators recommended to the prosecutor’s office that criminal charges be filed.

"They'll do what they need to do to get what they need to get," said Natasha Watkins, EJ's aunt.

"This is something that I know in my heart will be fully investigated," said Erica King, Watkins' mother. "And justice will be served for my son."

WEB UPDATE: The Wayne County Medical Examiner says that EJ died from a gunshot wound to the back.

Grief counselors were on hand Tuesday at Sampson Webber Academy where students and faculty are devastated.

Detroit police say EJ was hanging out with two neighbor boys’ ages 14 and 15 at a house on Tireman playing video games Monday afternoon. The boys' grandmother left to go to work, leaving them home alone. Investigators say they got a hold of her loaded handgun and it went off, killing EJ.

"I really believe that it was an accident," said EJ's father Edward Watkins. "I don't believe the young guy intentionally wanted to kill EJ. But due to the fact that the weapon was left out in their home, unsafe. That's bad, because not only did it happen to my son, it could have been someone else's son.

"It just hard knowing my son paid the ultimate price for irresponsibility, maybe a lack of attention," King said.

Police say that loaded gun was on a nightstand.

"I'm a CPL holder, and my gun is never out, never," said Natasha Watkins.

Meanwhile EJ's family is remembering a bright kid, a competitive chess player who wanted to be the best.

"I just want everyone to know my son he was a beautiful guy," Edward Watkins said. "He was very intelligent, he was very smart."

If you want to contribute to the GoFundMe account for the Watkins family to pay funeral expenses, CLICK HERE.


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