13-year-old boy charged with killing younger brother

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch (Courtesy: WATE)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 13-year-old Knoxville boy is charged with first-degree murder after police say he shot his younger brother to death.

It happened around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at a home on Needham Lane.

Upon arrival, police initially thought the 12-year-old victim had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

As the investigation continued into the night and early morning hours, investigators determined the young boy had been shot.

“It appeared to be very complicated,” Police chief David Rausch said. “I told you at first it appeared to be self-inflicted.”

The boy’s older brother was taken into custody and is now being held at a juvenile detention center.

Police said the two boys were home alone at the time of the shooting and that a call was made from the home to the parents. The parents then called police.

“Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family. They do have two other children,” Chief Rausch said. “Our hope is as a community that we can come together and try to figure out solutions to deal with these horrible tragedies and stop putting small children in graves.”

Both boys attend Northwest Middle School. Neither of their identities has been released. Police said counselors will be available for students, teachers and staff.

“This is a horrible tragedy,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “I think it’s hard for any of us to understand the pain this family is going through right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

A motive has not been released and the investigation is ongoing.