An 11-year-old boy in the US could face manslaughter charges after he allegedly used a relative’s gun to fatally shoot an eight-year-old girl his mother was babysitting.
The unidentified boy was taken into custody on Friday, local time, for allegedly shooting Jenesis Dockery in the head in Fayetteville, North Carolina on July 25 — just an hour after she was dropped off at his relative’s home to be babysat.
She was rushed to the hospital, where she died two days later, the New York Post reported.
The boy has not yet been charged, but investigators believe there’s enough evidence to charge him with manslaughter and theft of a firearm, according to local broadcaster WRAL.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has filed paperwork to the Department of Juvenile Justice to encourage charging the boy. They are also seeking secured custody.
He is currently in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Detention. It is unclear if any of the adults involved will face charges.
Jenesis and her sister, who was there the day of the shooting, had been watched by the 11-year-old’s relative on multiple occasions, according to her father Fon Dockery.
The boy allegedly stole the guns out of a safe in the babysitter’s home, the Dockery family lawyer, Harry Daniels, said at a press conference. The boy had been seen holding guns in photos posted on social prior to the shooting.
Mr Daniels also said the safe was unlocked and the boy knew its combination.
Jenesis’s family recalled her as a “joyful, energetic child with Jesus in her heart and a perfect smile on her face” on a GoFundMe page.
“My daughter’s life was tragically taken,” Mr Dockery told WNCN. “It hurt my heart to think that I would be in a situation where I would have to comfort my youngest daughter.
“This has been a horrible nightmare, still doesn’t feel real,” he continued. “She wanted to dance and just live life, man. She loved making TikTok videos.”
The family wore orange pins to Jenesis’s funeral, which symbolise gun violence awareness.
“Because as much as we want justice for our daughter, this is something no parent should ever have to do,” her father said.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission