A teen babysitter was watching a group of children in Rock Hill, South Carolina Saturday when at least one of them, an eight-year-old boy, fired what was described as an “assault rifle” at pedestrians walking by, according to police there.
The incident was reported Monday in a local paper, The Herald, which said that a man called Rock Hill police Saturday after spotting the kids with a firearm that the caller said was an assault weapon. The children were on Glenn Street in Rock Hill, a city of just under 70,000 people in the northern part of the state, not far from the North Carolina border.
When police showed up, they interrogated an eight-year-old, whose name was not released. The boy at first denied firing a rifle. In fact, the boy and other children in the group denied knowing anything about the reported gunfire at all.
But their resistance didn’t last long. Eventually, the kids broke down. The eight-year-old led the investigating officers to a bedroom in one of the boys’ homes. There, underneath the bed, the cops retrieved the weapon apparently used in the shootings.
The weapon was a.22 caliber semi-automatic rifle.
Upon examining the rifle, police found a round in the chamber and one more in the weapon’s magazine. They also recovered two spent shells from the ground outside the home.
No one was hurt in the alleged shooting incidents. The kids apparently fired over the heads of pedestrians who passed by their armed position.
There was no report on whether the police questioned the 13-year-old babysitter who was supposed to be watching the children, but apparently was either not, in fact, watching them or was standing by passively as the kids played sniper with passing pedestrians, using live rounds.
But the eight-year-old boy’s mother told the Rock Hill police that gun belonged to a convicted felon, who was prohibited from owning a firearm. Police then confiscated the weapon.
No charges have been filed against the eight-year-old boy, or the teen babysitter. But police are now investigating, in an attempt to determine the owner of the gun and how it got into the hands of the pre-teen children.