A St. Louis, Missouri man was charged Thursday with killing nine-year-old girl Jamyla Bolden. Jamyla was doing her homework while sitting on her mother’s bed when shots were fired into her home on August 18.
St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch charged 21-year-old, De’Eris Brown, of O’Fallon, Missouri, with second-degree murder in the killing of young Jamyla Bolden. Associated Press reports that Brown also faces three counts of armed criminal action and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by shooting at a building.
In a probable cause statement, Ferguson officer William Ballard said Brown fired shots through a bedroom window. A witness was able to identify Brown as the shooter, and, later, he allegedly confessed. Police did not provide a statement on the possible motive for the shooting; however, they did say Jamyla was not targeted.
In addition, police would not say if someone else in the house, or thought to be in the house, was the target; however, Jamyla’s mother is recovering after allegedly being struck in the leg with one of Brown’s bullets.
Currently, De’Eris Brown does not have an attorney to comment on the allegations.
Interim Police Chief Andre Anderson said the crime emotionally affected police officers of his department.
“It was a tragedy. It had an impact on us, and it’s certainly something that we all don’t want to see again.”
— Obi-Wan KeHomie (@kidnoble) August 21, 2015
The Daily Mail reports the tragic shooting of Jamyla happened at a small ranch-style home in Ferguson, a few blocks from where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. A grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice declined to indict Wilson, but the shooting sparked some violent protests and helped drive a national Black Lives Matter movement.
Mayor James Knowles and Police Chief Anderson said the city’s efforts to change the way it does policing shortly after the Justice Department’s report and the unrest following Michael Brown’s death, incited cooperation that ultimately helped lead investigators to the suspect. The police department or the mayor did not divulge the tips that led to De’Eris Brown’s arrest.
However, Mayor Knowles provided the following comment.
“I think that’s a prime example of how our community-oriented policing model is working today and will continue to work in the future.”
Police Capt. Dan DeCarli offered his comment in agreement with Mayor Knowles.
“Basically this was old-fashioned police work. You get out and talk to the community and follow leads that are provided.”
According to Capt. DeCarli, the shooter was on foot and was alone at the time of the crime. Capt. DeCarli added that the police are not looking for additional suspects.
The death of Jamyla resonated throughout the St. Louis area, prompting a vigil and calling for an end to violence.
Jamyla Bolden was a fourth-grader at Koch Elementary School. Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday.
De’Eris Brown is currently jailed on $750,000 cash-only bond.
[Featured image via Michael B. Thomas/ Getty Images]