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Boy, 10, not charged in shooting death of 10-year-old friend

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The apartment complex where 10-year-old Keith “KJ” Frierson was killed after being shot by another 10-year-old using a gun he found in his father’s car. Inset: Arkete Davis is arraigned in connection with Keith’s shooting death (via YouTube screengrab/KCRA).

Prosecutors in California will not charge a 10-year-old boy with murder after he allegedly killed a neighborhood boy, also 10 — but the father of the child who pulled the trigger will remain behind bars.

Arkete Davis, 53, appeared in court Wednesday on charges related to the shooting death of Keith Frierson, who went by the nickname “KJ,” at an apartment complex in Sacramento on Dec. 30. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office, Frierson was gunned down by Davis’ son on Dec. 30 as the boys were purportedly playing outside.

Davis’ son was initially charged with murder, but prosecutors now say that only Davis will be charged.

“Based on the facts currently known, the sole criminal liability and responsibility for the child’s death lay exclusively with this Defendant,” a statement from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said, according to Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA.

Deputies who were called to the apartment complex shortly after 4:30 p.m. arrived to find an “unresponsive juvenile in the middle of the parking lot, who was bleeding from his head and neck,” the sheriff’s department said on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter

The responding deputies tried to save the boy’s life, but he was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.

Witnesses at the scene told law enforcement that the person responsible for the shooting ran into a nearby apartment.

“Deputies called out all the individuals from that apartment and detained everyone without incident,” the sheriff’s office said. Davis was detained, along with two juveniles.

According to investigators, the boy who shot Frierson found the gun in his dad’s car.

“Based on their investigation, [investigators] learned one of the juveniles detained, also a 10-year-old male, went to his father’s (Davis) vehicle to get him cigarettes,” the statement said. “He then took a gun from inside the vehicle and bragged that his father had a gun. He then proceeded to shoot the victim once and ran into a nearby apartment.”

Davis is accused of trying to throw the gun away after the fatal shooting.

“Detectives located a firearm in a nearby trashcan, where Davis is believed to have tried to dispose of it,” the statement said. “Detectives confirmed that Davis was legally prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. The recovered firearm was also reported stolen in 2017.”

During a court appearance Wednesday, prosecutors said that Davis “knew or certainly should have known, the child was aware a gun was in the car,” KCRA reported. “Evidence and witnesses show that the defendant’s child was overheard saying, ‘See I told you my dad had a gun.””

The slain boy’s family members were also in court, according to KCRA, and Frierson’s mother vowed to pursue justice.

“Everybody’s going to hear me, keep seeing my baby and we are going to use this to push it,” Brittani Frierson said, according to the station. “This is not okay. This is not acceptable. Something has to be done.”

The grieving mother also noted that Davis didn’t try to help Frierson after he had been shot.

“He didn’t even aid my baby at all,” she said. “It’s just so cold. It’s so cold.”

The sheriff’s office noted on social media that state law prevents the release of Davis’ booking photo.

According to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office records, Davis is charged with felony child endangerment, possession of a firearm by a felon, accessory after the fact, criminal storage of a firearm, and a misdemeanor charge of destruction of evidence. He is being held without bond.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

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Kylian Walterlin

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