8-year-old dead from gunshot in Detroit home, police say

Police are investigating a shooting incident in Detroit where an 8-year-old girl died after being struck in the neck.

The shooting happened in the 8800 block of Heyden on Detroit's west side. Officers were dispatched to the scene shortly after 12 p.m. Tuesday.

Chief James White was at the scene hours later, saying the victim's 10-year-old brother was also at the home when the shooting happened. No adults were at the residence during the incident.

"A very tragic situation. Again this is preliminary and officers are on the ground doing the investigation," he said. "Just absolutely sad and tragic and should not have happened."

The chief also said the 10-year-old was being administered medical attention after officers noted the conditions inside the home were "quite concerning" but nothing too severe.

According to neighbors, they were trying to help the child and even drove her to get help because they said the ambulance was delayed in responding.

Relatives identified the child as Ajanae Graham and police say it's not clear if the child's mom arrived and drove her or if a neighbor took her to a nearby firehouse where they tried to save her. Fire officials say an ambulance had been en route to the scene when she was brought to the firehouse.

Police are working to get a search warrant for the home where White believes they'll find the firearm used in the incident.

It's another case of a child being victimized by gun violence, White said. 

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"We've got to get tired of this. There's no words I can say - you've heard me say all of the words that I can say about this. It's tragic. I've got an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old in a house with an unsecured weapon. I've got kids that should be in school so it shouldn't have happened," he said.

The chief said police would be looking at questions over child endangerment during the investigation.

Detroit police have responded to a number of shootings involving youths in 2022.

Last month, police began investigating a separate child shooting when a 3-year-old got ahold of an assault-type rifle gun. It's one of many incidents that police have been called to this year. A 2-year-old was hurt in the same week in a drive-by shooting while a 13-year-old was fatally shot over a dispute over a cell phone in July.