ST. LOUIS (KRON/CNN) — An 11-year-old St. Louis-area boy left at home alone with his 4-year-old sister staved off several home invasion attempts before finally shooting and killing a 16-year-old intruder, according to police.
That account by police is being disputed by some residents in the area. One neighbor offered a different version of the shooting, telling CNN affiliate KMOV that the boys were arguing on the front porch before the younger child pulled out a gun and shot the teenager.
The incident occurred Thursday afternoon in north St. Louis County. Police were called to the home and discovered the teenager’s body lying in the front foyer.
Police believe two suspects had tried to break into the home two times earlier in the day. On the third try, they were able to enter through the front door, Police Sgt. Brian Schellman said. There were no signs of forced entry.
Soon after the 16-year-old entered, the 11-year-old fired a single shot, investigators said. The body of Lamonte Streeter, who lived just a couple of blocks away, was found in the front foyer.
The teen had been shot in the head, according to police.
Neither sibling was hurt.
Some residents say there was no break-in and that the 16-year-old never entered the house.
“They were just arguing loud, you know, back and forth,” one witness told KMOV.
“He was always was just sitting right there on the porch,” the witness said. “He never did once go inside the house.”
Donna Jackson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she saw the 11-year-old shoot the 16-year-old at point-blank range as they talked near the front door.
But police said evidence indicated the shooting happened inside.
“Although we will not discuss specifics, physical evidence obtained at the scene indicates the deceased was shot while inside the residence,” Schellman said in an email. He encouraged anyone with information to contact police.
Schellman said the shot may have scared away the second suspect, a 22-year-old suspect who remained jailed Friday after being arrested on suspicion of burglary. Prosecutors were reviewing the case to determine if charges should be filed.
It wasn’t immediately known why the 11-year-old had access to the firearm.
Police said the mother, whose name has not been released, was cooperating with the investigation.
CNN affiliate KTVI/KPLR reported that the mother purchased the handgun because of prior break-in attempts.
Thursday’s shooting was the third deadly incident involving children and guns in that St. Louis area in recent weeks.
On August 18, 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden was shot and killed while doing homework while lying in her mother’s bed. A week later, 21-month-old Carter Epps died after being shot in the torso.