The worst that could happen happened to Elijah Walker on Monday, when an 11-year-old boy found a gun in his father’s bedroom closet, threw it out the window, retrieved it, and shot Elijah in the head. Elijah was pronounced dead at the hospital later that day.
The 11-year-old, whose name has not been released due to his age, entered a preliminary hearing in juvenile court on Wednesday and was charged with “manslaughter, death by weapon aimed with intent but without malice, and felony firearm”. At his hearing, the boy reportedly looked “lost and frequently zoned out,” according to the Free Press.
“I cannot remember a time when we have charged someone so young with taking a life,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a statement. “Very unfortunately and very tragically, the alleged facts in this case demanded it.”
Cases like these are not unusual and generally follow the same pattern. It is an unfortunate reality that needs observation. Some will shrug off the tragedy in a week or two and say, “accidents happen.” But an accident like this could have been prevented.
Lost in the coverage of the death is the fact that Elijah’s family is asking for donations to pay for Elijah’s funeral arrangements. The family has created a GoFundMe page
with a banner that reads, “Our Sweet Boy Elijah Walker,” along the top. As of Thursday afternoon, the page has raised approximately $2,700 of their $10,000 goal.
The description reads, “Our sweet baby boy, Elijah Walker, was taken away from us way too soon at only 3 years old. Elijah was always on the go with his incredible amount of energy and never failed to give anyone his million dollar smile … His bright smile, contagious laughter, and sweet personality will forever be missed. He was and will always be loved by his entire family and we are extremely devastated by this tragic loss.”
“I’m hurt,” said Elijah’s cousin, Tameka Cash. “Everybody is hurt. It’s just sad. It’s tragic.”