Roseville police: Child dies while playing with unsecured gun, man charged

By: Brian Louwers | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 17, 2021




ROSEVILLE — Police said a 3-year-old boy who found an “unsecured and accessible” handgun in a Roseville home was killed when it discharged while he was playing with it Sept. 1.

The boyfriend of the child’s mother, Chase Michael Dershem, 29, the alleged owner of the gun, now faces charges of manslaughter and second-degree child abuse.

Deputy Chief Mitch Berlin, of the Roseville Police Department, said in a statement that the shooting took place in the 20000 block of 12 Mile Road at about 8:15 p.m.

“Investigators believe that an adult male resident had a handgun in the home. The loaded handgun was unsecured and accessible to the child,” Berlin said. “The child was able to obtain the handgun without being seen by any of the other residents of the home. The child was playing with the handgun in the basement for an unknown period of time.

“When the child was playing with the handgun, it fired a single shot, which struck the child. The gunshot wound proved to be a fatal one,” Berlin said.

The child was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead.

“This is a very tragic incident that should have been avoided, if the weapon was properly secured,” Berlin said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the child’s family, friends and the first responders who responded to this tragedy.”

Berlin added that the Roseville Police Department offers free gun locks for the public at the department’s Records Bureau, inside the Police Department at 29753 Gratiot Ave.

Dershem was arraigned Sept. 3 in the 39th District Court. According to court records, Judge Kathleen Tocco set bail at $50,000 cash or surety. Dershem was ordered to wear a GPS tether if released from custody.

A probable cause conference scheduled for Sept. 15 before Judge Joseph Boedeker was adjourned until 8:30 a.m. Oct. 13.

At his arraignment, Dershem reportedly indicated that he would hire his own attorney, but no appearance had been filed in the case at press time, according to court records.