Parent, grandparents and great-grandparent charged after 2 child shootings

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced charges Wednesday morning in two separate accidental child shooting cases in Detroit. In one of the cases, the child was killed.

Five-year-old Mariah Davis found a gun under a pillow late one night, and accidentally fatally shot herself in the neck. Authorities in Wayne County are charging her 65-year-old grandparents with involuntary manslaughter, child abuse and felony firearm. This shooting happened in May of 2016.

In the second case, a 4-year-old child found a gun and accidentally shot himself in the hand. He survived. His mother and his great-grandfather are being charged with child abuse and felony firearm. This shooting happened in November of 2015.

Worthy says all family members in both cases are expected to turn themselves in later this week. 

Worthy says in the last 17 months, eight children in Wayne County have killed or seriously injured themselves with an unsecured firearm. She says some of these cases are still under review and could also warrant charges, and that all these cases were completely preventable.

"Some of you will say, 'Why are we charging someone who's 80 years old? Why are we charging grandparents who are 65 years old?' The victims in these cases ... won't reach their 5th birthday, their 10th birthday, let alone their 80th birthday," she said. "We have to be responsible."

Worthy presented some ideas at the news conference, too, for how to address the growing number of child-involved shootings not only in Detroit, but across the country.

She says she would like to meet with the heads at all major hospitals in the area to suggest pediatricians go over gun safety with parents as part of a regular check-up. She suggested giving out pamphlets, or have some sort or counseling or training session -- even for families that do not own guns. She recommends all parents inquire about gun and gun safety in another family's home before letting their child visit that friend's house.

Worthy says she would also like to see legislation that involves criminal penalties for those who irresponsibly store their gun. She would also like to see more mandatory gun ownership education.

As a nation, she urged that we also take a serious look at emerging technology for guns, such as chamber load indicators and smart gun technology that could limit a gun being fired unless the owner's fingerprint matches up.

"This is a public health issue and not just a crime issue," she said.

She added that she hopes no one disagrees that gun safety is an important issue to address for our children's safety, even though they may have different suggestions on how to achieve the safety. 

You can watch a replay of her news conference on our YouTube page, or watch an analysis from FOX 2's Roop Raj in the video player above.