Milwaukee girl shot, killed; father charged with reckless homicide
MILWAUKEE - A 47-year-old Milwaukee man is charged with first-degree reckless homicide – accused in the shooting death of his 8-year-old daughter on Saturday, Jan. 15.
Prosecutors say Michael Huddleston admitted to shooting the girl. He referred to what unfolded as a "mistake" as he was trying to teach kids in the house about gun safety.
A criminal complaint states that, just before 2:30 p.m. that Saturday, someone called 911 to report that the victim, Tiana Huddleston, had been shot and her father – identified by the caller as the defendant Huddleston – who was rushing her to the hospital.
Police arrived at the hospital minutes after the 911 call was made to investigate. At the hospital, officers spoke with the defendant.
Huddleston told police, the complaint states, that the gun's safety was on and there was no round loaded. Asked if he accidentally pulled the trigger, Huddleston said that was "exactly" what happened. Continuing to speak with police, Huddleston said he "shouldn't have tried to do no extra in front of the kids" and "I did it…I didn't try to, big mistake."
Minutes later, according to the complaint, Huddleston was informed of his daughter's death. He responded, saying: "I can't believe this (expletive) happened…I killed my own (expletive) daughter."
The medical examiner who responded to the hospital identified one gunshot wound. The complaint states the victim had been shot in the chest.
SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News
The defendant complied with a request for a blood draw and said he had recently had tequila. An individual who was in the home at the time of shooting told police, according to the complaint, that Huddleston was drunk that day. The individual said they heard the gunshot and heard Huddleston say "I just shot my daughter" before instructing "hide my gun" as he left the house.
Police at homicide scene near 18th and Highland
Huddleston repeatedly said, the complaint states, that he just wanted to be taken to jail, adding: "Just take me to jail. I did it. I did it." He called it his "mistake."
Later, the complaint states, Huddleston told police that he went to grab his gun to teach the kids about gun safety. He said he checked the safety and said there was nothing "in the clip." He said he put the clip back in the gun, and that is when the shot went off.
In addition to reckless homicide, Huddleston is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.
Family moving forward
The close-knit family's landscape now looks a lot different.
"We’re very family oriented, playing games," LaToya Singleton, the victim's aunt, said. "This just changed the whole dynamic of our family."
Once the police tape was gone and the vigil ended, life went on – but the hurt was still everywhere.
"First to heal is to hurt," said Singleton. "It just makes my stomach sick."
The aunts and grandma of the 8-year-old girl are still processing that she was unintentionally shot at home.
"I wish that the gun was facing toward him. If it’s going to be an accident, why not it be you?" said Singleton. "He’s a felon. Where’d (he) even get (the gun) from?"
FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android.
"You should’ve been more smarter as a parent with my nieces and nephews. I’m speechless. You took our heart," Latarra Traylor, the victim's aunt, said.
It took the heart of Tiana's mother, too – who had been with the defendant Huddleston for nearly two decades.
"She loved him. It don’t go away, but my sister is furious, like you took my kid out of this world," said Singleton. "You took a light out of this world. We’re dim, we’re dark."
Now, the whole family is trying to navigate the darkness. A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been set up to help with funeral costs and general expenses for the vicitm's siblings.