Young people's access to guns an issue, police say after Detroit fireworks violence

After three people were shot during the Detroit fireworks, the police chief said Tuesday the biggest problem is too many young people with access to guns.

On Monday night, a 47-year-old woman was struck by a bullet in the hip on Jefferson and Woodward across the street from Hart Plaza. She was an innocent bystander to a group involved in a dispute near her.

Later that night, two teens, both 17 years old, were sitting in a car when they got into a dispute with people walking by. Gunfire erupted, striking the male in the stomach and the female was grazed on her arm.


All three victims are expected to recover.

"This situation could have been a lot worse," said Police Chief James Craig.

He spoke about the incidents during a press conference Monday.

"To go downtown and try to agitate, incite violence is wrong," Craig said.

One shooting occurred in front of the Spirit of Detroit. 

"This is what often times happens is a dispute between two groups, or individuals, and someone makes the dumb decision to take out a firearm and use it and predictable, someone who is not even involved gets struck by the gunfire," Craig said.

Police have one young person in custody for a curfew violation and he may or may not be the shooter. 

"You have a lot of young children, it's peer pressure. Let's go down here, we'll be on center stage," said Excell Moore.

As for the second shooting that left two teens with bullet wounds, no one is in custody at this time.

"For someone to bring a gun into a venue, knowing that there were police present, and engage in this dispute that erupts in this level of violence, is troubling," Craig said.

"Stricter gun laws, stricter gun regulations - I'm all for it, whatever you can do to keep guns away from especially kids, from anyone who shouldn't be handling one," said Kelly Ansell.

Chief Craig is quick to point out that there is not been a shooting at the fireworks since 2009 and, he says, for the most part, this year's fireworks were a success.

"We still have to continue to reassess and reassess, when we have these large-scale events, how we're going to approach the issue of large numbers of youth that are not supervised," he said.

FOX 2 streamed Chief Craig's press conference earlier, watch below: