Worthy charging parents, grandparents whose unsecure guns led to child shootings
DETROIT (WJBK) - Too many Detroit children are dying or being seriously hurt after getting their hands on guns that should've been locked up.
On Wednesday the Wayne County Prosecutor is sending a message to parents and caregivers - she's not afraid to take them to court.
"I bought the gun right on the corner for $8 six years ago," said Joseph Williams, a great grandfather. "I'm 80 years old - I need some kind of protection."
But that gun Williams kept for protection at his home on Terry Street, ended up in the hands of his 4-year-old great grandson - Aiden - in November of 2015.
"I had in my house I didn't know he was going to find it," he said. "That little boy likes to search. All of a sudden I hear a shot and that was it.
"I had it hidden and he searched so much and he found it."
He found it under a pillow and shot himself in the hand. Aiden is okay but now Williams and his granddaughter 30-year-old Andrea Drewery are facing charges of child abuse and felony firearm.
The charges were announced Wednesday by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy
"She should be going after the man that killed those little kids, shot them little babies in the head - that's the one she should be going after," Williams said. "Not me. I didn't do anything wrong."
But Worthy says he did, adding that adults have to secure their weapons.
She also announced charges of involuntary manslaughter against the grandparents of 5-year-old Mariah Davis - who found a gun under her grandparents' pillow and shot herself in the neck on May 11. Patricia McNeal and Frederick Davis - both 65 years old, are due in court Thursday morning.
"In the last 17 months, eight children have killed and seriously injured themselves and others with unsecured firearms," Worthy said.
Worthy said it takes seconds to secure a firearm, she wants pediatricians to discuss this with parents, and wants more mandatory gun ownership education.
Even well-meaning grandparents are being held accountable.
"Why are we charging someone who is 80 years old, why are we charging grandparents who are 65 years old," Worthy said. "When we decide to either have, bear, adopt children we have to be responsible - we have to know what is in our homes that is inherently dangerous."
It is a lesson some are learning the hard way.
"I'm worried about me," Williams said. "I'm 80 years old. I'm going to jail - 80 years old, for something like that."
Great grandfather Joseph Williams had no idea he was being charged until FOX 2 told him - apparently someone neglected to let him know he's supposed to turn himself in to face arraignment Thursday morning.
FOX 2 notified the prosecutor's office - they are now making arrangements for Williams' arraignment.