13-year-old fatally shot after another boy shows off grandmother’s gun

Posted at 4:19 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 16:19:33-05

A 13-year-old has been fatally shot after police say a group of teens decided to play with a gun at a house on Detroit’s west side.

It happened on Tireman Street just after 1:00 Monday afternoon.

Police say two teens who live at the house were home from school due to a snow day. They were old enough under the law to be left home unsupervised. Their parents were not home.

The teens invited other teens over to play video games.

A teen was allegedly showing his grandmother’s gun to friends when the incident happened. The victim was shot in the chest, police say.

He has been identified as EJ Watkins.

Police are investigating whether the teen shot himself or was shot.

Authorities took the grandmother into custody for questioning.

They are working to find out how the teens got a hold of her gun.

It will be up to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether she faces charges, such as child endangerment, if she is found to have not adequately secured the gun.

“I am sick of kids dying, senselessly dying,” said Assistant Chief of Police Steve Dolunt. “Kids are dying. What more do you have to do to encourage someone to put a gun lock on a gun?”

The teen who died did not live at the house. He was a student at Sampson Webber Leadership Academy.

Counselors will be on hand at the school on Tuesday to speak with his classmates.

Detroit Police say they offer free gun locks to anyone who cannot afford one and needs one.

“Just call your neighborhood police officer to get a gun lock and prevent this from happening again,” said Commander Nick Kyriackou of the Detroit Police Department