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Raceland father charged with negligent homicide in accidental shooting death of son

Davonta "DJ" Michel and his brother were playing with a loaded handgun that had been painted bright colors, according to the sheriff's office.

RACELAND, La. — A father has been arrested by Lafourche Parish Sheriffs and was charged with negligent homicide in the accidental shooting death of his 6-year-old son, according to a press release.

A 6-year-old boy was shot and killed on February 22 when a gun he and his brother were playing with went off, according to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.

LPSO had identified the victim as Davonta “DJ” Michel Jr., a first-grader at Lockport Lower Elementary. On Monday, March 27, his father, Davonta Michel Sr. 24, of Raceland turned himself in.

Sheriff Craig Webre told WWL-TV his officers were called to a home in the 2000 block of Highway 182 around 7:45 p.m. on the day of the accidental shooting. A plainclothes officer was the first to get there. He found DJ inside the home with a single gunshot wound.

DJ’s half-brother, also 6 years old, told the officer that he and DJ had been in a bedroom at their grandparents' residence. They found a gun and started playing with it. At some point, it went off, striking DJ in the head.

The officer performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. DJ was then taken to the hospital where he died a short time later.

Detectives learned after investigating that the boys found the gun unsecured in their father's bedroom. They eventually obtained an arrest warrant.

The odd appearance of the gun may have contributed to the tragic death of Michel Jr.

The gun was covered in brightly-colored spray paint. Sheriff Webre called the decoration a “huge mistake.” He said it is the first shooting his office has encountered where “an actual gun had been painted in an odd sort of way that gives it the appearance of a toy.” 

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