Mother charged in death of Howell 2-year-old

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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HOWELL, Mich. (WILX) - A Howell woman has been charged in connection with the death of her child.

An unsecured gun led to tragedy on June 11, when a 2-year-old was killed in an accidental shooting. Now, the toddler’s mother faces felony charges, filed in a Livingston County Court on Monday, Sep. 18. Charges against the mother include one count of second-degree child abuse.

Law enforcement believes the toddler gained access to an unsecured firearm in a home on Oak Squire Lane, and it went off. The mother has not formally appeared in court but is scheduled for arraignment on Sep. 29 in the 53rd District Court in Howell.

The Howell Police Department, which first responded to the scene, declined to comment on the case at this time. However, the toddler’s death is raising concern among firearm safety advocates.

A report by the Pew Research Center shows a 50% increase in gun-related deaths among U.S. kids and teens between 2019 and 2021. Earlier this year, the Michigan legislature passed a series of red flag laws in an effort to prevent those deaths, including safe storage.

Gun safety advocate and educator with Giffords Courage to Fight Gun Violence, Jonathan Gold, said tragedies like the one that happened in Howell are preventable if people are willing to take the necessary precautions.

“I wish this was the first story. I bring it back to one simple phrase, ‘if it’s not on you, lock it up,’” Gold said. “If you’re not actively carrying your weapon, then there’s no reason that a loaded weapon should be anywhere that it’s not secured.”

The new safe storage law, and other red flag legislation, will take effect in March of 2024.

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