Michigan Man Charged with Manslaughter After Toddler, 3, Finds Gun and Shoots Himself

Chase Dershem, 29, has been charged with manslaughter and second-degree child abuse

Chase Dershem
Photo: Roseville Police Department

A Michigan man is facing charges after authorities say that he left a loaded handgun unattended around his girlfriend's toddler son -- and the boy found it and shot himself to death.

Chase Dershem, 29, has been charged with manslaughter and second-degree child abuse, PEOPLE confirms. Authorities say that he left the firearm in the basement of the home he shared with the boy's mother in Roseville, a suburb of Detroit.

According to a police report obtained by the Detroit News, the 3-year-old boy found the weapon and began playing with it. It discharged, striking him once. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died of his injuries. Other children in the home were unharmed.

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Dershem was arrested without incident and booked into the Macomb County Jail. A judge set his bail at $50,000, PEOPLE confirms. He has not yet posted bond. If he is released, he will need to wear a GPS monitoring device. His next court date has been scheduled for September 15.

"This is a very tragic incident that should have been avoided, if the weapon was properly secured," the Roseville Police Department said in a press release, according to WXYZ. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to child's family, friends and the first responders that responded to this tragedy,"

Dershem has not yet entered a plea, and court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf.

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