5-Year-Old Girl Fatally Shoots Herself With Grandma’s Gun

By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
May 11, 2016 Updated: May 11, 2016

A Detroit girl fatally shot herself the morning of May 11 with a handgun she found underneath her grandmother’s pillow, officials said.

The girl, 5-year-old Mariah Davis, was upstairs playing, while her grandmother was downstairs cooking. 

“The little girl was in an upstairs bedroom where she found the gun under her grandmother’s pillow,” Detroit police officer Dan Donakowski said. “She fired a shot, striking herself in the body.”

According to ABC7, Detroit police were called to the 19700 block of Oakfield around midnight Wednesday.  The girl was taken by paramedics to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the USA Today.

Donakowski said two other children were present during the incident, a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, but they were not injured.

The grandmother was not arrested, but was taken into custody for questioning by police. She was then released, according to Detroit Police Officer Jennifer Moreno.

Detroit police said the investigation is ongoing. 

So far in 2016, at least 23 toddler-involved shootings have been reported, compared with 18 incidents around the same period last year, according to SOTT.net, and at least six children have shot and killed either themselves or a parent in the U.S. since April 20.

Gun violence prevention activist Jonathan Hutson said the shootings aren’t accidents, they can be prevented. 

“These fatalities are unintentional, but they’re not accidental,” said Hutson, former spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “They’re foreseeable and preventable.”

Roughly 14 states and the District of Columbia have laws that make gun owners responsible if they fail to prevent unauthorized access to guns by children, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.