A 13-year-old Oklahoma boy is facing a first-degree murder charge and will be tried as an adult after he allegedly shot his friend in the chest with a crossbow.
Police arrested Shane Edward Brooks of Wellston, Oklahoma on October 21 — the same day he allegedly shot and killed 10-year-old Austin Almanza. Initially, Brooks told police that he “was hunting and accidentally shot his friends,” according to NewsOK. But he has since been charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as an adult.
The state’s medical examiner determined that Austin Almanza died from a crossbow bolt to the stomach. The bolt passed through Austin’s body and struck his brother Ayden, who survived. A neighbor frantically called 911, telling the dispatcher that the bolt went through one of them and stuck in the other one. The caller also said that one of the boys was bleeding from his mouth. Unfortunately, deputies were too late — when they arrives Austin Almanza was already dead, KFOR reports.
After the tragedy, Brooks ran home and woke his stepfather. His mother said that her son told her that “he didn’t know what happened, and believes the crossbow was loaded wrong.” She also said that he “didn’t know the crossbow fired until [he] saw Austin fall to the ground.” A YouCaring account has been set up to help Austin’s family with their expenses.
Ayden told investigators that Brooks became angry when Ayden and Austin tried to leave and that he hid in some bushes before shooting them. He also told police that the 13-year-old suspect had a number of weapons, including a shotgun, pistols and a rifle.
Records accessed by NewsOK show that Brooks was released on $130,000 bail in December. His release did include a number of conditions, including that there are no weapons in the home. The judge also ordered Brooks to undergo a mental health examination.
According to the Swain Law Group in Oklahoma, first degree murder is punishable by life in prison (defined as 45 years in Oklahoma), a life sentence without the possibility of parole or even death as Oklahoma is a capital punishment state.