US & Canada

Boy, 11, charged with manslaughter over US child's shooting

Scene of the arrest in Detroit
Image caption The 11-year-old boy was arrested on Monday after the shooting of the three year old

An 11-year-old boy has been charged with manslaughter, accused of using his father's gun to shoot a three-year-old boy in Detroit, US media reports say.

The boy was visiting his father in the east of the city on Monday when he took a handgun from the bedroom.

He is said to have thrown the gun out into the back garden, retrieved it and jumped into a parked car.

Later, the three-year-old boy went into the car, was then shot in the face and later died, prosecutors say.

The older boy appeared in a juvenile court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday afternoon.

He faces another two charges of death by weapon aimed with intent, but without malice, and felony firearm.

"I cannot remember a time when we have charged someone so young with taking a life," said prosecutor Kym Worthy in a statement.

"Very unfortunately and very tragically, the alleged facts in this case demanded it."

But experts who spoke to the Detroit Free Press newspaper said it was not clear whether an 11-year-old could be competent enough to face such charges.

In Michigan, prosecutors have wide discretion to charge people of any age, though the judge has some say in the process, the paper says.

But prosecutors would have to prove that a youth, in this case 11 years old, had "criminal intent".

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