A Michigan toddler is dead and a convicted felon is now accused of illegally possessing the gun the boy accidentally shot off while in the car with his mother at a gas station last month, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Avis Damone Coward is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, Mark Totten, U.S.
The gun incident
Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said in the press release, alleging that the 2-year-old, who has not been publicly identified, later died as a result of the accidental discharge at the Sunoco gas station in Lansing the afternoon of October 24.
Just one minute after Coward got out of a white GMC Yukon and went inside the gas station, a bullet hole riddled the window of the vehicle, according to video surveillance referenced by prosecutors.
Moments later, the child’s mother exited the car, holding her child with blood pouring from his head, prosecutors allege. And as she got out, Coward’s gun allegedly fell out of the car and onto the pavement.
Returning to the family, Coward reached for his gun and put it back in the car, according to prosecutors, who shared still images of the video surveillance depicting him reaching onto the pavement for the gun and laying it back inside the vehicle.
(The gun had reportedly not been immediately recovered by investigators.)
The child was rushed to the hospital
Firefighters rushed the toddler to a hospital for treatment that afternoon, but the child died the next night.
‘Death of a child by gunfire is a story that should never be written,’ Totten said in the press release.
‘Yet beginning in 2022, and for the first time ever, gun violence has become the number one cause of death for kids in America.’
Totten called gun violence a ‘swelling epidemic’ that ‘reaches our most innocent.’