Police chief talks gun safety after toddler accidentally shot in Grand Blanc Township

Chief Ron Wiles said the child remains in critical condition at the hospital, as of Friday evening.
Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 10:09 PM EST
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GRAND BLANC TWP., Mich. (WJRT) - (11/27/2020) - Grand Blanc Township’s Police Chief is reminding the community to store your guns safely and securely.

ABC12 first reported Thursday, a 3-year-old accidentally shot himself, after the Chief said he found a gun inside his home.

The toddler remained in critical condition at a local hospital, as of Friday evening.

Any incident involving a child is tough for emergency responders. Grand Blanc Township’s Police Chief Ron Wiles said this case was no different; but like many accidental shootings, he said it could’ve been avoided.

“Most people are responsible gun owners, you know, they secure their weapons, they store them securely and safely. But, on occasion, these firearms are not,” the Chief said. “They are loaded and they get in the hands of kids who really have no idea what they’re touching and some terrible tragedies can take place.”

Chief Wiles said that’s what happened inside a home in the Maplebrook Condos. His Officers responded to the complex, located off East Maple Road, under the I-475 overpass, around 4:15 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

On the way to the home, Chief Wiles said the officers learned a 3-year-old boy shot himself in the head.

“There was an adult there,” he explained. “And, at one point during the evening, the child went upstairs to an upstairs bedroom and located the firearm and took the firearm, possessed it somehow and ended up discharging the firearm.”

The Chief isn’t sharing just yet where the child found the gun; but he said it was unlocked, loaded and not safely stored. Three things he advises against to keep everyone in the home safe, not just toddlers.

Chief Wiles said don’t hide the gun, thinking someone isn’t going to find it either; because, kids and teenagers are curious.

“No one expects everyone to go out and buy a 600-pound, you know, wall-mounted gun safe. But there’s other, there’s other options or alternatives there,” Chief Wiles said.

He showed off a small gun lock to ABC12 provided to his Department by the nationwide company, Project ChildSafe. The Grand Blanc Township Police Department has multiple; and the Chief said, they’re available to the community for free.

“It doesn’t allow the weapon to be loaded, it will be asked to be unloaded,” he explained. “So it’s like a check and balance almost; but then if the trigger is pulled, obviously nothing happens and it doesn’t cause any sort of discharge.”

Chief Wiles added once the investigation is complete, they’ll hand the case over to the Prosecutor. He’ll determine if any of the adults in the home will be charged.

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