Relative says Canton 8-year-old died after being shot while father was cleaning his gun

Police in Canton say an 8-year-old boy has died after being shot inside his home Tuesday afternoon. 

Police say a firearm was discharged around 4 p.m. at a home on Old Michigan Avenue yesterday. The child, identified as Jack Bennett, was taken to the hospital, where he later died early this morning.

Police say an individual is in custody but did not give any further details about the shooting or about who is in custody. 

The family said that Jack was shot when the gun went off. Neighbors said the father was cleaning his gun and thought it was empty when it discharged.

"It was a freak accident," said Dale Petrick, Jack's grandfather. "He was cleaning the gun, He thought the gun was empty, he was not pulling the trigger or anything.

"I asked if he was in surgery and (his mother) said no, he didn't make it. She lost her son and now she has to deal with this for the rest of her life until she gets peace."

The family gave a photo of Jack dressed as a soldier from last Halloween. Jack was in the second grade at Walker-Winter Elementary School in Canton. 

Wednesday morning, the Wayne-Westland Community School district sent out a message saying a student had died. 

"We were notified by the Canton Police Department of the death of a Wayne-Westland Community Schools student. 

Our hearts are heavy. This student brought love and joy to the classroom and will be missed by classmates and staff. 

We are saddened by the heartbreaking news and the loss to our school community. We send our condolences and support to the family and friends," the statement from the school district read. 

Canton police won't confirm the person arrested is Jack's father.

"He was a good guy, worked at Ford," Petrick said. "He was good with guns and safety. Jack knew about safety with guns too. He was a bright boy."

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