The older boy died in hospital shortly after being stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife while a group of children played in the 10-year-old's driveway.
The San Diego Sheriff's Office received the call at 1:18 p.m. yesterday. Deputies arrived at the home about four minutes later to find the 12-year-old bleeding from a wound to the chest. Deputies and paramedics administered lifesaving measures before the child was rushed to Children's Hospital by ambulance. He was pronounced dead around 2:30 that afternoon.
Neighbours told 10 News that the two boys were friends and were playing with some other boys in the 10-year-old's driveway. After the stabbing, the other youngsters ran away and it is believed they went to their homes to tell their parents what happened.
Neighbour Wayne King said he came out of his home shortly after the incident and saw paramedics loading the injured child into the ambulance. King also said he heard awful screams coming from the house, yelling that he didn't mean to do it. The 10-year-old's mother was in the house at the time.
Neighbours reported the boy had been in therapy for anger issues and was on medication for ADHD. Although he often expressed his anger verbally, he was not known to physically strike out.
Brian Richeson, another neighbour and a friend, told NBC's San Diego affiliate, He had just gotten on to a new medication and they were starting to tweak it to see what dosage he needed.
Neighbour Derek Gorton said, No one should judge him other than he made a really, really bad mistake. He's going to pay for it more than anyone. It's heartbreaking that's he's going to have to go through that.
Murders committed by very young children are extremely rare. The San Diego Union Tribune reports FBI data reveals that United States law enforcement officials reported 11 murder suspects under the age of 13 during 2010. This figure is identical to figures reported in 2008 and 2009.
Although the 10-year-old was taken into custody by Sheriff's deputies, his current whereabouts are unknown. Said Lt. Larry Nesbit, California law does not recognize that a chld can commit a crime, so there are many different factors that come into play in this case. That's why we are a liason with child welfare services as well as personnel from the District Attorney's office.