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Ajanae Graham | Source: Facebook.com/Lisa-Livinglife-Johnson | Facebook.com/FOX 2 Detroit
Ajanae Graham | Source: Facebook.com/Lisa-Livinglife-Johnson | Facebook.com/FOX 2 Detroit

8-Year-Old Detroit Girl Is Shot Dead after Brother Finds a Gun at Home While Playing

Salwa Nadeem
Sep 16, 2022
02:50 P.M.
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No one had imagined that an eight-year-old girl would lose her life in a shooting incident inside her Detroit home. The little girl was playing with her elder brother when the neighbors heard a loud gunshot.

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When a person stays indoors, they naturally feel secure. Out of all places in this world, their home is where people feel the most comfortable and safe. They never feel threatened while being guarded by the walls of their house.

The little girl in today's story likely had the same feeling, but one unfortunate incident turned her mother's life upside down. When the police investigated the case, they had to urge parents to keep their children safe.

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A Loud Sound

It was a regular day when Ajanae Graham was playing with her 10-year-old brother around noon on September 13, 2022. The siblings were having a good time until Ajanae's brother stumbled upon an unprotected gun.

Soon, the neighbors rushed to Ajanae's Detroit home in the 8800 block of Heyden. They found an injured Ajanae inside the house with her brother beside her. Instead of waiting for their mother to return, the neighbors called the authorities for help.

They anxiously waited for the ambulance, hoping little Ajanae would survive her injuries. The neighbors said they drove Ajanae to the nearest firehouse since the ambulance took too long to arrive.

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Trip to the Hospital

Meanwhile, the police said they weren't sure if the neighbors drove her or if Ajanae's mother, Erica Sade Graham, had arrived to rescue her daughter. The firehouse told the police that an ambulance was on the way to Ajanae's residence when she was brought in.

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The first responders took Ajanae to the nearest hospital from the firehouse, hoping the little one would survive. Unfortunately, she breathed her last upon arriving at the hospital. Chief James White said:

"A very tragic situation."

The Investigation

White had arrived at the Graham residence a few hours after Ajanae died. While his team inspected the house, he felt disappointed and told FOX 2 Detriot that the incident "should not have happened."

When the officers entered Ajanae's house, they thought the living conditions were "quite concerning" and asked the paramedics to see if Ajanae's brother needed any medical treatment. Fortunately, the boy was fine.

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Since the officers didn't have a search warrant, they couldn't hunt for the weapon at that time. However, they did manage to find Erica, the children's mother, who was arraigned on September 15, 2022.

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The Unsecured Weapon

Erica was charged with manslaughter, child abuse, and felony firearm for keeping an unsecured weapon inside her house. Things would have been much different had she kept the gun out of her children's reach.

"I've got an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old in a house with an unsecured weapon," White said. He added that the children should have been at school when the incident happened. Prosecutor Kym Worthy questioned:

"How many children have to die because of an unsecured weapon? Why is it so hard to secure a gun when you know that children either live or visit your home frequently?"

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The Fundraiser

Ajanae's family was devastated after learning about her death. A family member, Dontae Graham, set up a GoFundMe page to cover the funeral expenses. The fundraiser's goal was to collect $10,000. Dontae said:

"She did not deserve to have her life taken this way or fashion. She was a loving niece, cousin, sister, daughter, granddaughter, and more."

With people's donations, Dontae hoped to bid farewell to Ajanae the way she deserved. As of September 16, the family had raised more than $500.

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People's Comments

Not only were eight-year-old Ajanae's family members affected by her sudden demise, but netizens also felt sad about it. Here are some of the comments people left under FOX 2 Detriot's Facebook post:

"That sweet little girl. So much life to live. How many parents are going to continue to leave their guns unsecured?"

― (@Malissa Merlo-Shobe) September 16, 2022

"Only words I have are, 'She didn't even get a chance to live HER LIFE.'"

― (@Tish Marks) September 16, 2022

"How many times does this have to happen?"

― (@Ashleigh Harris) September 16, 2022

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"This is so sad. This child is gone because the parents didn't lock their guns up. They should be put in jail, no questions asked. Rest in peace, little one! God bless this child."

― (@Sharon Kirk) September 16, 2022

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ajanae's loved ones, who are dealing with the unimaginable pain of this tragedy.

Click here to read another story about an Ohio boy who was found killed in his bed when his mother came to wake him up.

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