Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) –Police say no charges will be filed against the 11-year-old boy who accidentally shot his 15-year-old friend this weekend in Cherry Hill. But they still haven’t decided whether the man who owns the gun used in the shooting will face charges.
Family members feel the gun owner should be held responsible. They say if he’d done a better job securing his gun, the victim would be alive today.
15-year-old Michael Brooks dreamed of playing football, but his dreams were cut short Saturday morning when his 11-year-old friend accidentally shot him in the head during a sleepover party in Cherry Hill. His large family has been left devastated.
“He did not deserve this,” said one family member.
Michael’s family wants the gun owner to face charges for failing to properly secure a firearm.
“Something should be done. There’s no reason why someone shouldn’t be punished for what happened,” said uncle, Charles Horn.
The owner of the home where it happened did not want to talk on camera, but off camera he told WJZ he had his gun locked inside his bedroom while his 11-year-old nephew had a sleep over party. He says the boys somehow managed to unlock the bedroom door and load the gun. He says that’s when his 11 year old nephew accidentally shot and killed Michael Brooks.
“When you look at a life taken senselessly so young it breaks your heart and it reminds us of the importance of keeping guns away from kids,” said Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
This incident is the latest in a series of accidental shootings. Last July, a 14-year-old was shot in the head while playing with his younger cousin in their Lutherville home.
In September, two Hagerstown teenagers were arrested after a two-year-old in their apartment shot himself in the chest with a handgun.
And in December, a 13-year-old was killed inside a Baltimore home while he and a friend were playing with a gun.
Statistics show each year more than 600 people die from accidental gunfire, most of them young children.
“We are pleading with individuals that own firearms, for the betterment of your families please lock those things up,” said police spokesperson, Anthony Gugliemi.
Police say they will consult with the state’s attorney’s office as they determine what, if any, charges should be filed against the owner of the gun used in Michael Brooks’ death.
The family needs help covering the cost of Michael Brooks’ funeral. Donations for the Michael Brooks fund can be sent to the Bailey Funeral Home on Annapolis Road in Halethorpe.