Toddler Shoots Self, Gun Owner Immediately Arrested

Toddlers and guns: you’ve very likely already read one too many reports about a small child finding a gun and killing someone or even her or himself. There have been way, way too many such stories lately, each one more a glaring reminder about the United State’s failed efforts to reform gun control laws.

On Sunday, 3-year-old Damon C. Holbrook found a .40-caliber handgun loaded with 15 rounds in an unlocked case in a bedroom closet in the Dundee, Michigan house where he lived with his father and two siblings and another family. While the adults in the house were talking in the kitchen, Damon was playing by himself in a first-floor bedroom when he found the gun and accidentally shot himself in the head and died. He was rushed to a hospital in Ann Arbor and died just about an hour later.

The gun’s 30-year-old owner, Joshua Greenhill, was one of the adults in the house; he was arrested and jailed. On Tuesday, he was charged with careless discharge of a firearm causing injury or death, a high misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office had at first been considering a charge of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Along with his wife and young son, Greenhill was also a resident of Dundee house where Damon and his family lived. Besides facing criminal charges, Greenhill has been ordered to surrender his Common Public License and not to possess any firearms. Two long guns were also confiscated from the house.

As Slate points out, “the speed with which the family friend was arrested is worth noting and applauding as an example of how authorities ought to handle cases like these.” Too often, police have termed such a shooting an “accident” or even a “no-fault accident” and — in contrast to the arrest of Greenhill soon after Damon’s death — only brought charges “later, if at all.”

As Damon’s father wrote on his Facebook page, “Gun safety people! My boy would still be here if it was put away like it should have been.”

Nothing can bring back Damon. But the arrest and criminal charges that Greenhill faces can, it is hoped, be a deterrent to other gun owners. Even more, Damon’s death and that of too many other young children are further reason for lawmakers to (finally) undertake a serious reform of gun policy including rules for background checks. You’d think they’d also be getting weary of reading stories about toddlers and guns by now.


Photo from Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks for the article.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers3 years ago

So sad! So careless!

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani3 years ago

Hi Teresa

I actually wanted to download all the referenced evidence like internal emails (which were from some hacked computers) and a kind of "Memo of Understanding" (my words) between some members of the International States Community. The newspaper articles can be found - but those docs ...?? Shame on me that I was too tired late at night to do it immediately - I should know better.

In case you come across it somewhere let me know - would appreciate it. BTW - did you check the article "Why war with Syria is not inevitable"? Some interesting comments which I'll join in a moment. There's just so much work ...

Take care!

Teresa B.
Teresa B3 years ago

Interesting, Eleonora! I had bookmarked the site and just now went to it, says it has been removed by the user. I'm sure we'll find it on some other alternative site, though.

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani3 years ago

To Ros - good luck with your new setting. Sad that you couldn't connect to YouTube ... the video was TAKEN DOWN in the early morning hours!! Tells us what ...??? As if taking it down would make the facts go away!

Ros G.
Ros G3 years ago

Thanks Eleonora stay safe as well..Peace and Goodwill to all...earlier response has disappeared into the cosmos LOL switching from stand alone fixed wireless..a little isolated at the moment..sorry can't connect to youtube...

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani3 years ago

Hi Teresa

Thanks for the message - I've the same problem; can't even reply to you "Error 500" (?). So - thanks for the info, my question mark is solved - LOL. Hope she'll be always safe!!

A second bit of info for you on my last post:
The Leviathan Field, the largest gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean that includes among other countries Syria; there are 25 Trio Cubic Feet of natural gas and some 600 Mio Barrels of Oil in that field. Egypt (under Mubarak) under tremendous pressure had agreed to "re-draw" the borders to include Israel; Gaza has no voice; Lebanon has caved in; Syria refused and still does. Haven’t we seen this scenario before – Iraq anyone and Colin Powell, Condie Rice? Or Afghanistan? Lybia?

Cletus W.
Cletus W.3 years ago

Mary B. says: "David F.... you heartless idiot". And with that, Mary has hit the nail DIRECTLY on his empty head.

While knee-jerking his own cherry-picked stupidity all over this sight, David F. hypocritically calls someone else's comment "liberal" knee-jerking just because the comment doesn't conform to his baseless, twisted ideology.

David F. is one of these modern, self-acclaimed "conservatives". But the fact is that the ideologically blinded and terminology-confused David wouldn't recognize a true conservative if one shat on his empty head.

Proud little polyps sitting inside the colon of the rightwing underbelly are NOT true conservatives. The guy is nothing more than a lowly and cowardly, but duly obedient, parrot for his rightwing radio-talk-show masters.

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani3 years ago

Hi Teresa

I see we do a bit of the same - mix and balance is the word and then we do the thinking and connecting, right :-)! Although I don't read regularly US official news like you do - on certain subjects it just gets my bloodpressure up lately like the Muslim Brotherhood issue!

It has become a scary world and no betterment in sight. At times I feel it might be better to stick my head in the sand which is plentiful around me - LOL!

Stay safe - I read in these forums here that the US has become an even 'unsafer' place then it was back then already (was there last time just the week before 9/11) just in a different way.

Lori Ann Hone
Lori Hone3 years ago

With gun ownership, comes responsibility and he should be held accountable for not locking the gun case. Everybody want to own guns and do what ever, well, your responsible for your actions or in this case carelessness of a deadly weapon. I own a 38 Special and 100 rounds all on the top shelf of my closet, close enough for me to get to in seconds, high enough my 10 year old son can't get to. Everybody wants, wants wants, but no body wants to be responsible for their actions.