BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A 14-year-old Boston boy charged with fatally shooting his 9-year-old brother appeared in court Monday.
The teen was arraigned in juvenile court on delinquency charges of involuntary manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm. Juvenile Court Judge Leslie Harris ordered the defendant held on $50,000 bail.
He’ll be back in court March 3.
After the arraignment, defense attorney Michael Doolin told reporters that his client is “heartbroken” and “scared.”
Sources tell WBZ-TV the 14-year-old told police he had taken the clip out of the gun that day and that he didn’t realize there was a bullet left in the chamber.
Police were called to the boys’ home in the city’s Mattapan neighborhood at about 11:30 a.m. Friday and found the wounded boy. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The shooting is thought to be accidental. Police Commissioner William Evans said the older boy panicked and ran away, but was “very remorseful” when police found him later.
Police are investigating how the boy got the gun and why the children weren’t in school. Authorities say there’s no evidence anyone in the family knew the boy had the gun.
Governor Deval Patrick confirmed Monday that the Department of Children and Families had been involved with the teen prior to the shooting.
“They deal with some of the most difficult families and the most difficult children in some of the most difficult circumstances,” Patrick said. “That involvement is long standing and deep and I think there was a home visit as recent as eight days before the tragedy maybe seven days.”
The last visit, according to Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz, was January 30. The shooting was February 7. “There was an attempt to try and take custody of the child late last year,” Polanowicz said Monday. “And even when we were not granted custody of the child, you can see in the report that that social worker, who by the way, is absolutely shattered that this happened on his watch, who was almost inconsolable when he found out, you know, continued to reach out to Mom.”
Polanowicz and Governor Patrick say it appears DCF employees did all they could. “This is one of those areas where the department did all the right things,” Polanowicz said. “Ee just have an incredibly tragic outcome with guns that we hope to get off the streets.”
Mayor Marty Walsh said over the weekend a gun buyback program is in the works.
“We need help from the community, we need help from people to let us know where these guns are, who has these gun and who is bringing them in so we can get them off the street,” Walsh said.
So far, Walsh said police have taken 45 guns off the streets this year.
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