13-year-old US boy accused in fatal shooting of girl, 12

2015-10-10 09:48
(Ben Torres, AFP)

(Ben Torres, AFP)

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Jasper - A 13-year-old boy appears to have deliberately shot and killed a 12-year-old girl outside a home in rural Missouri with a gun that came from the house, police said on Friday.

Officers tried to revive the girl, Teresa J Potts, but she died on Thursday evening near the town of Jasper in front of a foster home, Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser said. Jasper is about 130 miles south of Kansas City.

The boy was arrested without incident and is being held by the Jasper County Juvenile Office, Kaiser said at a news conference in nearby Carthage, adding that the boy will be charged in the shooting later on Friday. The sheriff's comments were first reported by The Joplin Globe.

"It was not a situation where they were playing. It does not appear to be a situation where it was an accident," Kaiser said.

It was not clear if either of the children was a resident at the foster home. An adult was home at the time of the shooting, Kaiser said. He declined to describe the relationship between the adult and the teenagers.

A woman at the Jasper County Juvenile Division, who declined to give her name, said Friday the office would not comment on the suspect's whereabouts or possible charges. Rebecca Woelfel, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Social Services, did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The sheriff said investigators believe the gun used in the shooting came from the home, but he would not talk about the weapon or how many times the girl was shot.

"There was more than one weapon missing at the time of search. All of those weapons have been recovered," he said.

The boy and girl were both students in the Jasper School District. A crisis team was available to help students on Friday, Superintendent Rick Stark said in a statement.

"We are all upset and still in shock right now," said Stark, who added no further information would be released.

This is the latest in a string of fatal shootings of children by children.

Earlier this week, an 11-year-old boy was charged with murder in the shooting death of an 8-year-old neighbour in a dispute over a puppy in White Pine, Tennessee. This September, an 11-year-old boy fatally shot a 16-year-old intruder in his home this. In Arizona last month, a boy charged with killing his father and another man when he was 8 years old was cleared by a judge to transition into a foster home and enroll in public school. He is among the youngest homicide suspects in the US.

The Brady Campaign Centre and Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said Friday that 2 703 children and teens were shot to death in 2011, its latest year for statistics, and 61% of those deaths were homicides.

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