DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A 13-year-old boy who accidentally shot an acquaintance during a snow day off from school in Detroit has pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors say the boy pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in juvenile court. He was also ordered to undergo a clinical evaluation ahead of his next court hearing on May 16.
The victim, 13-year-old Emarjae “EJ” Watkins, was shot in the back on Dec. 12 while the boys were home on the city’s west side after school was canceled.
Police said the gun was unloaded and hidden in the grandmother’s locked bedroom, but the boys broke in to get it.
The teens then apparently decided to invite Watkins over to play video games and “possibly scare him with the gun,” police said. At some point while they were hanging out, the 13-year-old boy loaded the gun and opened fire, striking Watkins in the back.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner determined his death a homicide.
The grandmother of the shooter, 58-year-old Lise Cox, was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse, but a judge dismissed those charges in January.
Cox was at work at the time of the shooting at her home and had no direct role in Emarjae’s death. Authorities initially alleged she didn’t properly store the gun.
The shooter’s name will not be released due to his age.
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