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3-year-old boy dies after accidentally shooting firearm

"We can't keep losing kids like this. We can't keep losing anybody.. .and the summer is just getting started."
Akai William Stilo.
Posted at 7:35 AM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-02 18:23:49-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner confirmed a three-year-old boy has died at the hospital after he was shot Friday morning.

Milwaukee police said the three-year-old got a hold of a gun and unintentionally fired it, shooting himself. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office identified the boy as A'kai William Stilo.

Akai William Stilo.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office identified the boy as A'kai William Stilo.

The incident happened near 19th and Juneau around 6 a.m. The boy was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Officials said a 28-year-old woman was arrested in connection to the incident and criminal charges will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office in the coming days.

While sharing the news, Milwaukee police reminded the public to keep firearms locked with a gun lock and in a secured area. They said anyone who is in need of a gun lock can contact their local department and see if they have any.

Stilo's grandmother, Trinika Walker, said the family lovingly called the little boy dinosaur, because he ran around with his arms out like a T-Rex.

Walker said her daughter is in custody for questioning, but that the shooting was an accident.

Following the shooting, Mayor Johnson shared a statement on Twitter saying, "I am disturbed by all gun deaths in Milwaukee, but when the victim is a three-year-old, I am horrified. There are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have them. All weapons must be locked and secured in a home."

"Heart-wrenching, heart-wrenching," said a neighbor. "I got two sons myself, 14 and 13, and that's the reason I had to come outside. It threw me for a loop. There's too much going on in Milwaukee."

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman spoke about it Friday while unveiling a new initiative to strategically place officers in areas where data shows shots are fired most often.

"I'm always torn and have the empathy for those parents who have to deal with such a tragedy within their homes," Chief Norman said.

RELATED COVERAGE: Milwaukee police to increase deployment in 8 neighborhoods due to rise in shootings

He stressed the use of gun locks. Chief Norman stood alongside Mayor Johnson and several other community partners back in May offering free gun locks to anyone.

"Owning a firearm comes with great responsibility, and that there is that responsibility of not only for yourself, but for your loved ones," Chief Norman said. "So, we need to continue to message gun safety, we need to continue to support one another in regards to, what are the resources out there."

The public is desperate for changes.

"For a three-year-old to get any access to a firearm is super irresponsible," said the neighbor. "It's about time something happens, something changes, because we can't keep losing kids like this. We can't keep losing anybody, honestly. And the summer is really just getting started," he said.

Walker has been vocal about gun violence for years. Her son, William Earl Davis Jr., was shot and killed at Swing Park in 2018.

His death motivated her to form Stop the Violence 53206. Now, her activism will also be in tribute to her grandson, Stilo.

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