Police in the US say an 11-year-old boy has fatally shot a 16-year-old intruder during a home invasion, but some neighbours are taking issue with that account.
Officers responded on Thursday afternoon to a report of a shooting at a St Louis County home, Police Sergeant Brian Schellman told The Associated Press.
Police believe two suspects had tried to break into the modest ranch-style home two times earlier in the day.
On the third try, they were able to enter through the front door, Schellman said.
There were no signs of forced entry.
Soon after the 16-year-old entered, the 11-year-old fired a single shot that struck him in the head, Schellman said.
The teenager’s body was found in the front foyer, and Schellman said the shot may have scared away the second suspect, who was taken into custody a short time later.
Schellman said that suspect, 22, was still in custody on Friday, but has not been charged.
Some neighbours told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that they witnessed the shooting and there was no break-in.
Donna Jackson told the newspaper that she saw the 11-year-old shoot the 16-year-old at point-blank range as they talked near the front door.
“It was not a break-in,” Jackson, 45, said. “He shot him in the head.”
Jazmyne Clark, 18, who lives two doors down from the shooting, said the 11-year-old was on the front porch when he told the 16-year-old to approach him.
When the 16-year-old reached the front door, the younger boy shot him, Clark said.
“He was never in the house,” Clark told the newspaper.
“He wasn’t breaking in at all. He was just trying to sell him his phone.”
But Sharon Taylor, who lives next door to where the shooting happened and said she is a cousin of the 11-year-old’s father, claimed the boy was not a troublemaker.
She doubted the break-in story, however, calling it unlikely to happen in the middle of the day.
The 11-year-old and his 4-year-old sister were not hurt. Their mother wasn’t home during the incident but is cooperating with an investigation, Schellman said.