The police in Maryland have arrested a 12-year-old juvenile in connection with the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy following a violent dispute at a shopping center in Prince George’s County on Saturday.
According to NBC Washington, the 12-year-old, whose name hasn’t been disclosed because of his age, is facing a first-degree murder charge. Authorities also say another 13-year-old boy who was stabbed during the altercation was transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The deceased juvenile was identified as King Douglas, a resident of the town of Upper Marlboro. Sharing details on the incident, Prince George’s County police say they received a call of a stabbing incident and altercation between groups of young people at the Ritchie Station Marketplace shopping center in Forestville on Saturday night.
When officers arrived, they discovered Douglas had sustained a gunshot wound while the other 13-year-old victim had been stabbed. Douglas, unfortunately, succumbed to his injury at the scene.
“The preliminary investigation revealed the shooting and stabbing stemmed from a dispute between two groups of juveniles in the shopping center,” a statement from the police disclosed, adding that they believe it wasn’t a random incident.
At a vigil held on Monday, the deceased mother recalled how she initially did not want to take her son to the shopping center but had a change of mind as she wanted to reward him for cleaning his room. She said shortly after dropping him off, his friends called her to share the tragic news. She, however, praised them for trying to keep him alive after the shooting.
“’I checked his pulse on his wrist, I checked his pulse on his neck, and I took my sweater off and wrapped it around him.’ If this is not a friend y’all… if these are not friends right here, y’all. They didn’t leave my son to die,” she said.
Some residents who attended the vigil also condemned the fatal incident and questioned how it’s possible for minors to have access to guns. “It’s time for us to step up and do our share. We have to protect our children. Where’d this gun come from? It didn’t come from another kid, I hope,” a woman said.
Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Executive, also said: “After this, we’re going to have to really just double and redouble our efforts to get guns out of the hands of children in particular.”
The police are yet to identify and apprehend the suspect behind the stabbing of the other 13-year-old who survived, NBC Washington reported.