Homicide detectives have determined that a 9-year-old boy was involved in a shooting that killed a 15-year-old girl in the Edmondson Village neighborhood of Baltimore on Saturday,.
The boy was among the children on a porch, police said on Sunday.
A weapon that was allegedly in his possession went off around 8 p.m., police said.
Multiple witnesses told investigators he was playing with a loaded handgun when it accidentally discharged, police said.
After a bullet struck 15-year-old Nykayia Strawder in the head, the boy dropped the gun and ran, according to authorities.
An ambulance took the teen to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told reporters Saturday night that “there were multiple juveniles on that porch” and detectives were “working with multiple minor witnesses who all have parents and/or guardians we’re working to contact.”
Officers ran the serial number on the gun and learned that it was registered to a woman who is related to the boy, police said.
The woman works as an armed security guard, according to authorities.
Under Maryland law, the 9 year old can’t be charged with a crime, police said. But investigators were working closely with the State’s Attorney’s Office and some charges related to the shooting were still possible.
Strawder’s father, Dontay Jones, said he was home when the shooting happened.
Jones was with his wife and children when he heard a “loud muffling sound” come from the front porch. He said it was unclear if the sound was that of a gunshot.
Jones went downstairs to investigate and found Strawder bleeding “from her head, from the back of her head, on the side.”
“I couldn’t really tell because there was so much blood everywhere,” he said.
Jones said he wants the person who shot his daughter to know they “took a very precious angel away from the world.”
“We will never be the same without her,” he said.
“No nine-year-old child should have a weapon or access to one,” he added.
Strawder’s great aunt, Donyette McCray, told CBS Baltimore there was tension between the boy and Strawder’s brother prior to the shooting.
The two had been fighting before the boy decided to show up outside Strawder’s home with a gun.
“Her brother had been in a fight with him two times before, prior to this,” McCray said.
Strawder’s family is demanding justice in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.
“He needs to be accountable for his actions,” McCray said. “I don’t have my baby. … She will never, ever be back.”
Police records show Strawder is the fifth teen to be shot and killed in Edmondson Village within the past year.