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Unintentional shootings leave too many children hurt or dead in Milwaukee

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Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 19:43:30-05

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee family is grieving after losing their 8-year-old child to an accidental shooting on Saturday near 18th and Highland.

According to Milwaukee Police, Tiana Huddleston was killed when a 47-year-old man discharged a gun he was handling.

Police have since arrested the 47-year-old, but he has not yet been charged.

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Milwaukee Police van and crime scene tape outside the home where an 8-year-old was shot January 15th.

This shooting is too common in Milwaukee and across the county, according to Anneliese Dickman, Milwaukee’s program manager for Brady United Against Gun Violence.

“We call these kinds of unintentional shootings 'family fire' and they are 100% preventable,” said Dickman. “We can anticipate that anytime an adult is mishandling a gun or not storing it securely, there's a high likelihood that someone's going to be hurt.”

Brady United is a non-profit, non-partisan group that works to prevent gun violence. Brady United says every day in this country, eight children are unintentionally hurt or killed from an unlocked or unsupervised gun in the home.

But it is not just unintentional shootings that are hurting children. In Wisconsin, gunshot wounds are the second leading cause of death for kids, according to Children’s Hospital.

“Children are disproportionately impacted by firearms, despite the fact that a child cannot legally possess a firearm,” said Dickman.

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According to the Milwaukee Police Department's Homicide Review Commission, there were 27 children killed in 2020 and in 2021 there were 21. A deeper look at those statistics show that 80% of the children killed last year were killed by a gun.

“Whenever there's a child who (has) been shot and injured with a gun, there is a responsible adult somewhere down the chain. So if a child has found a gun and injured themselves, the gun owner who has that gun should have done a better job, making the gun inaccessible,” said Dickman. “If a child shoots another child, whether it was a crime or an unintentional shooting, somehow an adult allowed a child to access that firearm. So children are bearing (the) brunt of this and they don’t have the wherewithal to stop it. It's up to the adults to stop it.”

Brady United says one of the best ways to stop a child from being shot is to store a gun safely. Gun locks are free for all Milwaukee residents. If you need one contact the Office of Violence Prevention.

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