Detroit dad charged with child abuse after 3-year-old shoots self in stomach


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The latest small child shot in Detroit was not hit by a stray bullet like a pair of kids who were shot in the city last month. Instead, prosecutors say the little boy found his dad's loaded gun in the living room and shot himself in the stomach while his parents were wrapped up in an argument.

The boy is in critical condition in the hospital. The father, 34-year-old Melvin Cooley Cline III, now faces child abuse charges and is due to be arraigned this morning.

A month before the Tuesday morning shooting, three Detroit children were shot within a three-day stretch. One was a 3-year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet during a broad-daylight shooting at a gas station near the city's University District. She was hit in the head and listed in critical condition immediately after the incident. A 7-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet a couple days earlier while playing in his home on the east side. That bullet hit that child in the neck, and he was also listed in critical condition, but was expected to survive. Separately, a 16-year-old was shot in the leg.

Detroit's police chief is pro-gun, so much so that his views once landed him on the cover a publication produced by the National Rifle Association. He has advocated for citizens carrying guns, arguing that it would help drive down the city's crime rate (studies show more guns actually = more crime). He also recently express support for arming some teachers in Detroit schools.

About 29 percent of Michiganders were estimated to own a gun in 2013, according to a study published in the Injury Prevention Journal.

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