Chief Craig says 2 young children victim to gun violence of 'cowards' in Detroit

Two young children fell victim to gun violence overnight in Detroit this week. A 4-year-old boy is dead and a 3-year-girl is in the hospital recovering. 

Chief James Craig spoke to the media Thursday and gave information about some persons of interest police have in the shootings, which are unrelated. 

"Once again, another cowardly act by individuals who just can't seem to settle disputes without the use of a firearm," Chief Craig said. 

The 4-year-old was shot multiple times and died in front of his grandmother when someone fired shots into a home in the 18600 block of Birwood Street around 1 a.m. The 3-year-old who was hurt was shot while sitting in a car with her mother and 12-year-old brother in the 7400 block of Nett Street a few hours earlier. 

The family of Ry'liee Bailey, who just turned three last week, is by her side at the hospital Thursday. They say Ry'liee was in a car with her mother and brother in her car seat after they'd been picking up her mother's brother when a fight erupted in the middle of the street. The 12-year-old alerted his mother that he saw a gun.

"They were just sitting outside waiting for him to come out. Next thing you know, shots fired," said her aunt, Kaneisha Brown. 

Ry'Liee was shot in the stomach and we're told a bullet punctured her liver. The 3-year-old underwent surgery and is now awake and talking. 

"It's a lot to take in at this moment," Brown said. 

Detroit police say they have a person of interest In that shooting, a man named Brandon Johnson.

"We know who you are, now do yourself a favor and turn yourself in," Chief James Craig said in a press conference Thursday.

Police also gave out information involving the other shooting, in which 4-year-old Messiah Townsend was killed. 

Messiah's family said the little boy had been visiting his grandmother on Birwood Street, simply eating a snack walking from the kitchen to the living room.

"Next thing we know we heard shots. Somebody shot in the house and shot him and killed him," his grandmother Pansy Glaster said. 

Messiah was hit twice. 

Police say they have a person of interest in that shooting also, who is in the hospital. 

Chief Craig also gave a message to those who may be thinking of retaliating: "Don't do it because we'll find you as well."