In a shocking incident, a toddler at an unlicensed daycare facility in Dearborn, Michigan, discovered a gun and accidentally shot a couple of toddlers, ages 2 and 4, on Wednesday.
Both the victims were shot by the same bullet. After the bullet went through the first victim, it hit another in the shoulder. Both of them were rushed to a nearby trauma center immediately after the incident.
“The toddler who suffered the shoulder injury is expected to make a full recovery, while the other victim remains in serious but stable condition,” the City of Dearborn Police Department said in a press release Thursday.
The police received a 911 call at 10:20 a.m. EDT Wednesday about the shooting from someone inside a home in the 3600 block of Harding. “We’re going to pray these two young kids are going to be OK,” Police Chief Ron Haddad said at a news conference after everyone at the facility was questioned, local news outlet the Detroit News reported. “However it shakes out, it’s a tragedy for our entire community.”
It is immediately unclear how the toddler came across the weapon in the first place. The facility is run by Samantha Eubanks, 31, and according to the neighbors, she takes care of about 10 or more babies on a daily basis, New York Daily News reported.
Eubanks’ sister, Ashley Escobedo, was appalled at the news that a toddler had access to a gun since her sister was strongly opposed to keeping firearms in the house.
“She would always say don't you ever think about bringing a gun in this house," Escobedo told local news outlet WCPO. "It's not going to happen so that's why I'm very shocked."
“Obviously, there was a weapon in proximity to the kids, and that’s totally unacceptable to me, but I don’t want to comment any further on that,” Police Chief Ron Haddad said. “It’s totally tragic. It’s irresponsible.”
Investigators are expected to meet with staff of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office in order to decide what, if any, charges will be filed in the case.
The residence, where the incident took place has no records of being registered as a child care home, said Pardeep Toor, a representative for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. According to the law, if more than one child, unrelated to the caretaker, receive care for a month or more per year, enabling the caretaker to more than $600 annually from babysitting, the home must be registered as a daycare center.
It is not known whether Eubank’s home met these criteria or not. However, if it has violated the laws, it can be considered a misdemeanor on Eubanks’ part.
“It’s horrible. You see those kids outside all the time and it makes you wonder: how that could happen?” Mary Ramadan, a resident who has lived in the neighborhood for years told local news outlet the Detroit News. “How could you have all those kids in your house and have firearms sitting out loaded that they can get a hold of?”
The grandmother of one of the victims has started a Go Fund Me page in order to collect money to pay her grandchild’s hospital bills and cover the loss of income of the parents as they stay back to help their kid heal. “I'm hoping to bring some relief and comfort to my children, parents of my grandson,” Cheryl May wrote on the page. “Please share this with all your friends and family. They need to miss a lot of time in the job to care and support Damien while he recovers from the incident.”