BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Police are investigating disturbing photos recently discovered of a child holding a gun.
"I've seen photos where it appears the child is smoking on some type of product," said Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams. "We don't know what it is."
Williams said detectives don't yet know if the photos are real or if they've been doctored in some way.
"When we see a child might be in some type of potential danger, we have to take the action to make sure the child remains safe," Sgt. Williams said.
The pictures, which were found on Facebook, identify the boy as living in Birmingham.
Detectives are working to determine if that's really true. Wherever he's from, it hits close to home for officers.
"Those are dangers we see for that child and also to the community at large, based on what we see day to day. So we're going to address it and try to bring and end to it.," Sgt. Williams said.
And for adults who may post such pictures thinking it's cool or cute to do so, police have a message.
"We don't usually give out parenting advice. But we will say this--if you're going to put your child in danger in any type way, we're going to step in to make sure that child remains safe," Sgt. Williams said. "When we're notified, we're going to address it."
The Department of Human Resources is working this case along with police. DHR officials say they don't rely solely on the Facebook posts, but like police, they'll dig deeper to find out what's behind it all.