Who was Ethan Anewishki? Michigan boy, 10, dies after being shot by own mother in murder-suicide

The 10-year-old boy from western Michigan died one day after his mom shot him and then killed herself


                            Who was Ethan Anewishki? Michigan boy, 10, dies after being shot by own mother in murder-suicide
Ethan Anewishki, 10, was shot by his own mother in a murder-suicide incident (GoFundMe)
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SHELBY TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN: On Tuesday, July 26, authorities said the 10-year-old boy from western Michigan, who had been shot by his mother, had died. According to the Oceana County Sheriff's Office, tests on the boy, Ethan Anewishki, revealed no brain activity and was declared dead.

Ethan had been taken to Trinity Health Shelby Hospital and then airlifted to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids after his mother shot him at about 6:40 am on July 25. Deputies found his mother, Melissa Anewishki, 38, dead at the scene in what is now being described as a murder-suicide case.

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According to Sheriff Craig Mast, the woman shot her son before turning the gun on herself. “It’s a nightmare situation – it really is,” Mast said. The incident took place in Shelby Township's rural area along Baseline Road. Deputies responded to reports of gunfire in the 2300 block of Baseline Road on Monday, June 25, after six o'clock.

According to family friend, Melissa Anewishki had been struggling with depression and anxiety. According to Sheriff Craig Mast, a friend called 911 when they heard gunshots while going to check on the family. Mast praised them for their "heroic efforts" in trying to save the life of the young boy. He added, "A mental health issue is really at the heart of this. There is a long-term mental health issue here. It actually exists. Try to get them some assistance if you know someone who is dealing with or struggling with that."

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Ethan’s father Danny Santos said, “You can’t fathom anybody doing something like that.”  Santos said he woke up that morning to a text message from his ex-wife. “Forgive me but I cannot live without my son,” the message said. When Santos received a call informing him that his son was being airlifted to the hospital in critical condition, he later understood the message's significance.

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After being taken from the mother's care by Children's Protective Services because of her alcohol abuse, Santos was granted full custody of their children. But for the previous six weeks, Ethan had been living with his mother because, according to Santos, she seemed to be getting better.

“It sounded to me like she was getting her life together to get the kids back,” Santos said. “I was excited for them.” Despite the recent absence in his life, the family says Ethan was always a mama’s boy at heart. “Did he see the person he loves the most in his world getting ready to hurt him?” Santos said. “…I really pray that he was asleep.” Ethan’s organs will be donated, his dad said. “If he can save one kid or one person, I want it to happen,” Santos said. A GoFundMe account has been created to help Ethan’s family cover funeral and burial expenses.

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Local law enforcement organizations and state departments will receive funding to reduce rising gun violence under the Safer Communities Act, a federal law that has bipartisan support. In Kalamazoo, which has classified gun violence as a "public health emergency", Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed the policy. Guns are the leading cause of child fatalities in this country, whereas cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, according to Whitmer. "There are some things we can do to make it safer here in Michigan," she said, stressing the value of preventing gun violence in a press release from the governor's office. Statistics show that over 450 Michiganders have died from gun violence in just the first six months of this year, according to the statement released by the governor's office.

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