A 2-1/2-year-old who managed to get their hands on a loaded weapon in Howell died over the weekend. 7 Action News has learned that the father of the child is an officer with the Dearborn Police Department.
Howell police said the toddler died after firing off a round around 6 p.m. Sunday in Howell's Rolling Oaks subdivision.
Neighbor John McGlinchey recalled, “I did see when the paramedic carried the child from the home to the ambulance — it was pretty clear to me. Even from standing here or inside, the child was lifeless, and I have no idea how that came to be.”
He soon learned the child gained access to an unsecured weapon in the home directly across the street from him on Oak Squire Lane.
"I'm devastated by it even though I didn't know the folks. Anytime something like that happens, how can you not be?" McGlinchey said.
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7 Action News spoke with Dr. Marc Zimmerman. He's the co-director of the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention.
"Interestingly, about 75% of people say they leave a gun unlocked and loaded for protection and yet, the research on does a firearm actually protect you suggests that you're more likely to be hurt by that gun or a loved one hurt by that gun then you are to protect yourself," Zimmerman said.