Nizzear Rodriguez

A Georgia 17-year-old is the main suspect in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy as he slept, WXIA-TV reports.

Along with burglary and firearm-possession charges, Malik Davis is being charged with murder after police said he turned himself in at his mother’s encouragement, the news station reports.


According to the report, investigators initially believed that the 13-year-old, Nizzear Rodriguez, was killed Sunday in a drive-by shooting. However, they now suspect that the older teen gained access to the younger boy’s bedroom and shot him in the head while he was sleeping, mere hours after Nizzear celebrated his birthday.

The authorities also believe that someone else was present at the time of the shooting, but they have not released any details, WXIA reports.


Officials are trying to determine whether the someone else was meant to be the target and are still not sure if the two teens knew each other. Arrests on charges of assault and possible gang activity were made at a nearby townhouse under a search warrant, the news station reports.

Nizzear, who had never run into any trouble with law enforcement, was described as a great student. “Nizzear was a wonderful student, well liked and always smiling,” his principal, Todd Simpson, at Carrollton Junior High School said in a statement, according to the station. “This is a difficult day for this school and the entire system. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nizzear’s family during this difficult time.”

According to Nizzear’s aunt, his grandmother had been hoping to move the family out of the complex where they lived because it had gotten too dangerous, the station reports.


Read more at USA Today.