CANTON (WJW) –The family of a 6-year-old, who was shot and killed near his home in Canton, says they worry they will not get justice.
“We want the person who did this to be held accountable,” said Diamond Elder, the mother of King Pleasant.
Police say an 11-year-old boy shot King. The suspect has been arrested on a reckless homicide charge.
Family members of the victim say they were outraged when they learned the suspect was not being held in the juvenile justice center, but instead sent back home under supervised release.
“I don’t see any remorse. There is not like any guilt or anything,” Elder told the FOX 8 I-Team Monday. “He is in his driveway like nothing happened and I don’t have my son.”
Elder says prosecutors never contacted her to say the suspect would be released. She said she was also never notified about the court hearing. She and other family members say they are unhappy with the way the prosecutor’s office and Canton police handled the situation.
We reached out to Canton Police Chief Jack Angelo III about the family’s concerns. He released the following statement.
“Regarding your inquiry, the Canton Police Department responded to the scene of the shooting and immediately took the juvenile suspect into custody,” Angelo stated in his written response. “ We recovered the firearm at the scene and the juvenile was interviewed at police headquarters. Following that we contacted the Stark County Juvenile Prosecutors Office, as is standard on this type of incident. They advised what charge to prefer against the suspect and he was charged with that crime. He was transported to the Multi County Juvenile Attention Center and booked. Currently we are waiting for results from Ohio BCI&I on evidence submitted to them. Until that time we are in a holding pattern. The Canton Police department did not, in any way, treat this incident differently than any other. This crime is a horrible incident and our sympathy has always been with the family. I want to emphasize that we have no control over the suspect being released or the charges that were placed against him.”
Police have not said how the 11-year-old got the gun or who owned the gun.
Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero said the case remains under investigation and additional charges could be filed. He stressed the case has been handled like all other cases. He said he could not talk more about the case because a judge issued a gag order.
However, Laura Mills, the attorney representing the family, says there is no gag order on the case.
“We have yet to see a gag order,” Mills said. “We are working with the family to help them through this. It’s extremely tragic.”
Family members have been holding daily protests outside the Stark County Courthouse.
“What people need to understand is that this protest is bigger than just justice for King,” said Monique Elder, King’s grandmother. “This is justice for all of us.”
King’s uncle said the family is devastated.
“I haven’t been able to sleep at all,” said Mario Elder. “I get a couple hours of sleep and then go straight out to the protests. We will never forget King. We want answers.”
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