Maricopa County police officials say they have arrested a 16-year-old boy after he allegedly stabbed his 3-year-old special needs brother to death and injured his sister, 9, while their mother was away at work.
According to AZCentral, at around 11 p.m. Saturday, August 6, police received a call about a disturbance at a home in Youngtown.
Upon their arrival, they saw a teen — whose name has not been released — running out of the home, covered in blood.
Police were able to catch the fleeing suspect, tackling him to the ground after he led police on a foot chase.
The teen was arrested and taken to the Durango Juvenile Detention Center on “suspicion of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and endangerment.”
It was later uncovered that the teen had stabbed his special needs brother to death and injured his sister. Another teen, 17, and a 4-year-old boy, who was reportedly the suspect’s brothers, were at the home during the time of the stabbing, but they did not suffer any injuries.
When paramedics arrived at the scene, the girl was transported to a local hospital for injuries to her upper torso.
The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene.
Maricopa County police officials have yet to uncover a motive for the late-night murder, and has ruled out mental illness as the teen has “no known history of mental illness and there had been no prior calls made to the home.”
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said “It was a vicious, vicious, horrific murder. It looks like domestic violence got out of hand. I think people in this county and across the nation want some peace of mind, but when you look at what happens in homes and on the streets I can understand their concern.”
Arpaio stated that police now has to “interview the underage witnesses” to determine what took place in the home that caused the teen to fatally attack a special needs boy and injure his sister.
He went on to say that they have to get forensic experts to deal with the children because “we need to be protective when dealing with young people.”
“We still have to finish this investigation. Young people need to relax a little, and we need to not hit them right away.”
Neighbors were stunned after learning that a teen attacked his siblings, killing one. Although the family has lived in the neighborhood for six years, neighbors said they “rarely see or hear from the children outside their home.”
According to Amy Pileggi, who lives near the murder scene, said that “When the neighbors were trying to piece together what had happened and who this happened to, we couldn’t think of them. We had not seen the kids out and about much.”
However, when the 17-year-old teen ran out of the house with his injured siblings, knocking on neighbors’ doors for help, they didn’t hesitate to protect the children, according to the Washington Post.
When the mother of the children, whose name has not been released, came home from work, she discovered a slew of officers outside her home, investigating a homicide.
Pileggi said, “You can just imagine how devastating that was. She had no idea. She had to come up the street and see what was going on before she was told what had happened.”
She went on to say that “my thoughts and prayers go out to the family. We want them to know who was with the children during that time and that we were there to support them and tell them ‘It’s going to be okay.'”
“I’m glad we were there for them.”
The teen remains in custody while an investigation in the fatal knife attack ensues, but it is unclear at this point if the suspect will be charged as an adult.
[Photo by iStockphoto]