If an 11-year-old shoots an intruder in self-defense while babysitting his four-year-old sister, then normally the case would be a simple matter for police investigators. But, in this case, some neighbors are claiming the home invasion story is false, and others are asking why a child was left home alone with a handgun. But do Missouri’s gun control laws hold the mother responsible at all?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, it is claimed that 16-year-old Lamonte Streeter allegedly tried to break into the house of the 11-year-old boy with the help of 22-year-old Stevieon Jackson. According to the police, it is not the first time that the teenager tried to break in, as the young boy and his sister had previously dealt with several home invasion attempts by the intruding teenager.
“Earlier in the day, two subjects had apparently approached the residence, that same residence where the male was found deceased, on a couple separate occasions, however, never actually gained entry into the home,” St. Louis County Police Sgt. Brian Schellman explained. “It’s troubling to say the least and shows that too many young people have access to handguns and the results are usually tragic.”
Multiple neighbors disagree with the home invasion account. Some claim the 11-year-old shot the other teen while discussing the sale of a cell phone. One neighbor even claimed the 11-year-old shooter had once robbed her own family home and the boy was pointing the gun “at kids in the neighborhood, he was pointing it at everybody who came up on our porch.” But detectives have said that Streeter’s body was found inside the home, not the front porch.
Lamonte Streeter’s mother, Lawanda Hamilton, says she does not understand why an 11-year-old boy would be left home alone with access to a handgun.
“I just want to know what happened,” she said, according to the Associated Press. “I want to know the truth. Why did it have to be my baby? I don’t understand why it had to be him.”
Streeter’s grandmother, Lisa Butler, also says she has heard conflicting reports about why the 11-year-old shot the other teen, but she does not believe the story about the home invasion. She also asks why the other neighbors did not call the police if they knew the 11-year-old had been openly brandishing the weapon in the front yard.
“This is supposed to be a community,” Butler said. “Calling police about a child with a gun isn’t getting anyone in trouble, or snitching. That’s just to avoid something like what happened yesterday.”
Neighbor Joshuan Sneed also said the shooting should never have occurred.
“It should have went another whole another route I think parents could have sat down and talked about issue they had and resolved it before it got to that point because they both were friends,” Sneed said.
Police say there had been two break-in attempts a few hours before the Missouri shooting. The 11-year-old boy’s mother said she purchased the gun for self-protection because of similar burglary attempts. According to KTVI, police are investigating why the parents were not home at the time of the incident.
In the United States, gun control laws sometimes include Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws which can impose criminal liability on adults who give children unsupervised access to firearms. Missouri’s gun control laws “prohibits any person from recklessly selling, leasing, loaning, giving away or delivering a firearm to a person under age 18 without the consent of the child’s custodial parent or guardian.” But the state does not “have any laws that penalize individuals for negligently storing or leaving a firearm in a location where a child is likely to gain access to it.”
[Image via ABC]