An 11-year-old Detroit boy was arrested after he allegedly killed a 3-year-old with a handgun Monday — a rare case involving a suspect so young, local prosecutors say.
The suspect has been charged as a juvenile with manslaughter (death by weapon aimed with intent but without malice) and for possessing a felony firearm, according to NBC affiliate WDIV. His bail was set at $5,000 on Wednesday, and he faces a pretrial hearing next week.
The victim — identified by his family as Elijah Walker — was shot in the face and died instantly, the station said.
"I cannot remember a time when we have charged someone so young with taking a life," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. "Very unfortunately and very tragically, the alleged facts in this case demanded it."
Prosecutors say the older boy was visiting his father on Detroit's east side when he found a handgun in a bedroom closet and threw it out of the window. The child went outside to retrieve the gun and took it inside a vehicle parked in the yard.
The toddler then followed the older boy inside the car and was shot by the 11-year-old, the statement said. Prosecutors did not detail the children's relationship and whether other arrests are possible.
A GoFundMe account was set up for the victim to help cover funeral costs. It had raised more than $2,400 by Thursday afternoon.
"Elijah was always on the go with his incredible amount of energy and never failed to give anyone his million dollar smile," according to the account. "He loved playing with his two older sisters and cousins. His bright smile, contagious laughter, and sweet personality will forever be missed."