Police: Man who shot child was mom’s boyfriend

Victim reportedly recovering; gun still missing

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published May 19, 2015




CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The young boy who was shot in Clinton Township’s Normandy Park May 4 seems to be doing well, according to police late last week.

Clinton Township Capt. Richard Maierle said the boy, who was 3 years old at the time of the incident and recently turned 4, is alive and talking after being shot in the head.

“Our guys talked to him about two days after (the shooting),” Maierle said. “He’s fine.”

The boy was with his mother’s boyfriend, Christian Eric-Deandre Howard, that night when he was shot. Further investigation by the police confirmed the relationship between the mother and Howard.

As for witnesses, the closest source police have is the park ranger who conversed with the pair that night.The ranger did not see the shooting occur, though.

“We got the call at 8:43 (p.m.),” Maierle said. “Give or take 8:20 (p.m.) the park ranger comes in. The park closes at 8 p.m. but he’s got a couple parks to close. So, he’s driving through there and sees them both. The kid’s bouncing the ball and stuff. (The ranger) says, ‘Park’s closed’ and (Howard) says OK.

“The park ranger drives around, checks the whole park and goes to the restrooms because he’s cleaning the restrooms. Next thing he hears is sirens. (The ranger) comes out and the guy’s got the kid.”

Maierle said it all seemed to have occurred in a timeframe of about 15-20 minutes.

One thing is still missing from that night: the gun.

“There’s no gun. We can’t find it,” Maierle said. “(Howard) said he discarded it.”

It is still unclear whether the shooting was an accident.

Maierle said his department sifted through evidence and presented enough to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office on May 6 to issue a four-count warrant and make an arrest.

Howard’s charges include child abuse in the second degree, firearms receiving and concealing, felony weapons firearm and careless discharge of firearms causing injury or death.

He was arraigned May 6 in 41-B District Court, in Clinton Township, and was issued a $50,000 bond with 10 percent cash or surety. He was also given a no-contact order.

Howard’s next court date is May 20 for probable cause, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for May 27 — both at 41-B.

His attorney, Freddy Sackllah, could not be reached for comment by press time.