DEARBORN, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) — Two 3-year-old boys were critical condition after being shot by another child Wednesday morning at a home daycare in Dearborn, an incident the city's police chief called "tragic for the entire community."
Police officials said several other children and adults were at the residence on the 3600 block of Harding Street when a toddler accessed a handgun and it discharged, according to the preliminary investigation.
Dearborn Police and Fire responded to the scene at about 10:20 a.m. Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said the victims were transported to two trauma centers after the shooting.
"Whether it was one bullet or two bullets, it's hard to say at this time," Haddad said, adding that they're trying to identify everyone as the investigation continues.
Haddad said that police have recovered weapons from the home.
"For the parents of children that were left here, both our police and fire departments have done our best to keep them safe, get them to a safe place," Haddad said. "Parents should make sure that where they leave their children is a safe place."
At the home where the shooting happened, Samantha Eubanks, 31, babysits children for friends and family at a low price, said her sister, Ashley Escobedo, 30, of Westland.
The address is not currently registered with the state as a licensed Family Child Care Home. Registration is required by law if a home is providing daycare to 1 to 7 children that are not related to the adult caretaker, for four or more weeks a year and making more than $600 in a year. While it's unclear if Eubanks's babysitting fell into this category, those who shirk the law could be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
Eubanks' sister, Escobedo, said she was baffled on hearing about the shooting and didn't know about the gun.
"My sister is totally against guns," Escobedo said. "She hates guns."
Eubanks has six children of her own, and Escobedo — whose kids sometimes stay at the house — said the cousins think of each other as brothers and sisters.
"This is just tragic that it happened in this way," Escobedo said.
Haddad said he was proud of the way the city's first responders handled the situation.
"We just want to pray for the kids right now," he said.