Breaking News
More () »

10-year-old Cleveland boy shot and killed by aunt in 'freak accident,' uncle claims

Cayden Williams' uncle claims the child was in an upstairs bedroom when an aunt downstairs shot a gun through the ceiling, striking him in the head.

CLEVELAND — The family of a 10-year-old boy killed in Cleveland Sunday night claims his aunt accidentally shot him through their living room ceiling. 

Cayden Williams' uncle James Powells says Cayden was in an upstairs bedroom yesterday afternoon at his family's East 77th Street home near Donald Avenue when an aunt downstairs accidentally fired the Glock into the living room ceiling. A cousin was apparently showing the family an extended clip that he recently purchased legally.

"It wasn't even a minute before she had it her hand and 'pow!'" Powells said of the gunshot, adding "all he heard" after that was his ears ringing.

The bullet traveled up through the floor of the bedroom occupied by Cayden, striking him in the head. Powells showed 3News a bullet hole shot directly through the middle of the living room ceiling.

A 15-year-old cousin, upstairs with Cayden at the time, ran downstairs to tell the family Cayden had been hit.

"After the ringing stopped, she just bust through the downstairs door and told us he'd been hit," Powells explained.

Cayden's 27-year-old mother Candice, who was downstairs at the time the gun was fired, ran upstairs and called police. Cayden was rushed to UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, but the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner confirms he died there from his injuries.

Powells describes Cayden as one of the smartest kids he's ever met, and says the fifth grader loved TikTok and was capable of having intelligent conversations with adults. 

"I just can't believe this happened," Powells said. "I don't have words. Everybody's been gone since it happened, at the hospital and everything. I'm here at the house just trying to process everything."

The still-unidentified aunt has been arrested on unspecified charges, according to Cleveland police. The matter is still under investigation.

On Monday evening, Cleveland City Councilwoman Stephanie Howse released a statement about the shooting, which occurred in her ward.

"It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I share with you that early this morning, on June 6th shortly after 12am, there was a tragic killing of a ten-year-old child in my ward, Ward 7, in the St. Clair/Superior neighborhood. As this case is currently under investigation, a preliminary investigation shows that the death of the child is due to an accidental shooting. I would like to emphasize the importance of gun safety focusing on those who have access/purchase guns being properly trained on how to use, store and lock guns up. 

 In light of the new state law, HB 99**, this tragedy highlights how dangerous Ohio will be when we have no gun regulations. A person has to be trained. A person has to know what they are doing when a gun is in someone's possession." 

Ohio's new 'Constitutional Carry' law will go into effect as of June 12. The new law will allow any legal gun owner to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. It also means drivers who are pulled over do not have to tell law enforcement they have a gun.


Before You Leave, Check This Out