CLEVELAND — Police have not yet released information on how they believe a 3-year-old boy got access to the handgun he used to fatally shoot a 1-year-old relative.
Braylon Robinson died at a hospital less than an hour after he was shot in the face Sunday afternoon. Braylon's mother, 23-year-old Shanee Robinson, told police she was in the same room with her back turned to her son, the 3-year-old and another 1-year-old when she heard a gunshot and then discovered Braylon lying on the floor bleeding.
A handgun was found near the 3-year-old boy, police said. The Cleveland police homicide unit is investigating.
Police Chief Calvin Williams said criminal charges will likely be filed after investigators determine who owns the gun and how the child got access to it.
"A 3-year-old cannot be held accountable for a tragedy like this," Williams said Sunday, adding that someone knew the handgun was in the apartment and didn't safeguard it. "People will be held accountable for this tragedy."
The 3-year-old and the surviving 1-year-old are relatives of Shanee Robinson's but were not Braylon's siblings, a police spokesman said. The children, who were turned over to their mother Sunday, were not injured.
Robinson did not return telephone messages seeking comment Monday.
Williams called the shooting a sad day for Cleveland.
"This fascination that we have with handguns, not just in this city but in this country, has to stop," Williams said. "This is a senseless loss of life."