An 11-year-old has been charged with manslaughter after accidentally shooting a three-year-old boy with a handgun he took from his father’s closet in Detroit, local police have said.
The boy was visiting his father in Detroit’s Eastside on Monday when he took a handgun from his father’s bedroom closet, which he tossed from a window into the back yard.
The older boy later retrieved the gun and carried it as he climbed into a nearby parked car, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The three-year-old victim, Elijah Walker, later got into the car and was shot once in the face, according to prosecutors.
The 11-year-old, whose name has not been released due to his age, appeared in juvenile court on charges of aiming a weapon with intent but without malice, as well as using a firearm during a felony.
Elijah was pronounced dead in hospital.
Police at the scene told reporters that the boys had been “playing with” the gun, according to CBS Detroit.
It remains unclear who was responsible for watching the boys at the time.
Since the shooting the toddler’s family have started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the cost of the funeral.
“Our sweet baby boy, Elijah Walker, was taken away from us way too soon at only 3 years old,” reads the page. “His bright smile, contagious laughter, and sweet personality will forever be missed.”
The page has currently raised nearly $1,500 and has been shared nearly 450 times.
“I cannot remember a time where we have charged someone so young with taking a life,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Very unfortunately and very tragically, the alleged facts in this case demanded it.”
The shooting remains under investigation and authorities are attempting to determine if the boys were related, police said according to the Associated Press.
The boy will face a pre-trial hearing on Monday.