MILWAUKEE — Thursday morning, Milwaukee police and community partners did outreach in one Milwaukee neighborhood to promote gun safety and prevent other tragedies from happening.
Door after door, residents that live near 19th and Highland were given free gun locks.
"We are out here today distributing gun locks to try to prevent these tragedies," said Lindsey St Arnold Bell with Near West Side Partners.
Bell is talking about a tragic accident involving a gun.
Police say 3-year-old A'kai William Stilo got his hands on a gun and unintentionally shot himself.
The incident happened near 19th and Juneau around 6 a.m. on July 1. The boy was taken to the hospital where he later died.
The young boy loved cars and Spider-Man. A life cut short at just 3 years old
As A'kai's family was mourning his loss, another family of a three-year-old boy felt the same pain as their young boy was struck in an accidental shooting.
He would be the second 3-year-old in Milwaukee to suffer a gunshot wound in two days.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin doctors treated 71 children for gun injuries, seven resulting in death just this year. A total of 107 children in 2021, that's up from 79 in all of 2020.
MPD District 3 Captain Raymond Bratchett said it's crucial people are aware that having a gun comes with responsibilities and that's why they are out giving away gun locks.
"Bring awareness to the community members and also help them by giving them gun locks to hopefully prevent this from happening," Bratchett said. "If they don't have a gun lock they can come get one for free from any district station."
The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, Milwaukee Police Department, and Near West Side Partners will give away free gun locks to residents around 19th and Highland today.
The giveaway comes after two 3-year-olds were shot, one killed, in just two days.
One was shot and injured near 52nd and North on Saturday, July 2. The day before, a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself.
A statement from organizers says the goal of the outreach is to encourage residents to safely lock their firearms in an effort to avoid future tragedies.
The gun locks will be handed out beginning at 10 a.m.