DETROIT – A sleeping 7-year-old girl was shot and killed when an officer’s gun went off while Detroit police were searching a duplex for a suspect in the slaying of a teenager, a police official said.
Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said at a news conference Sunday that Aiyana Jones was hit in the neck by a single bullet and died at a hospital. Police said the girl was sleeping on a couch when she was shot.
“This is any parent’s worst nightmare. It also is any police officer’s worst nightmare,” Godbee said.
Godbee said officers with the department’s Special Response Team set off a flash grenade as they entered the apartment with their guns drawn about 12:40 a.m. Sunday with a warrant to look for a suspect in the Friday slaying of a 17-year-old boy.
The lead officer encountered a 46-year-old woman immediately inside the front room of the house and “some level of physical contact” ensued during which the officer’s gun went off, Godbee said. The officers had identified themselves as police, he said.
Charles Jones, Aiyana’s father, told the Detroit News the woman Godbee referred to was his mother and the child’s grandmother.