Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Michael Brooks’ 11-year-old friend accidentally shot him in the head at a slumber party. At his funeral Friday was a call to action for gun safety, as his grieving family says goodbye.
There were 22 guns inside the home where Michael Brooks died and investigators are still trying to determine if the gun’s owner faces charged.
Mike Hellgren attended Brooks’ funeral.
Police have said the 11-year-old shooter will not face charges, but they’re still looking into whether the gun’s owner stored the weapon properly. He told WJZ he has no idea how the kids got access to it.
Michael Brooks’ life was short, but he left a long legacy, among heartbroken loved ones who came together for his funeral about a week after his friend accidentally shot him in the head.
“It’s not right. Guns should be locked up and put away from kids,” said Brooks’ uncle, Charles Horn. “Only the lord knows whether justice will be served.”
At the service, the pastor reassured family that Michael is at peace, before pallbearers dressed in Ravens jerseys carried his casket to a waiting hearse. Michael was a huge ravens fan.
“Michael was a great kid. He did not deserve what happened. Me being a Steelers fan, in loving memory of Michael, I wore this jersey today,” said Brooks’ cousin, John Gallano.
Police say Michael was with his friend at a home in Cherry Hill when they somehow got a gun. The homeowner, a retired correctional officer, says he always kept his weapons unloaded and locked away, and has no idea how the boys gained access.
“If I could change places with that young man, I gladly would. I’ve lived my life,” said gun owner, Richard Moore. “There’s no winner, no loser, there’s just hurting people; everybody’s hurting.”
“You can’t blame anybody. You can’t dwell on it. It happened already, and it’s over. You just have to move on,” said cousin, Ulrica Crawley.
Michael, she says, would want it that way.
Police say if you have kids in the house, guns should be kept locked and unloaded, with the ammunition in a separate place.