A teenage girl was shot and killed by her younger brother over what police believe to have been an argument over video games.
According to the Clarion Ledger, 14-year-old Dijonae White, a student at Tupelo Middle School in Mississippi, was identified as the victim. Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said that Dijonae would not give her brother a video game controller when he wanted it.
Police believe that the 9-year-old then went to another room and got a .25-caliber handgun before returning to shoot his sister in the back of her head.
Cantrell noted that the nature of the case and the age of the alleged shooter drew the case into uncharted territory.
“There’s a lot of difference between a 9-year-old and a 19-year-old,” he said. “Between a 9-year-old and a 6- or 7-year-old, there’s not a lot of difference.”
The children’s mother was in another room at the time of the shooting, feeding three or four other children. Dijonae was rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., but could not be saved.
Authorities still do not know how the young boy was able to get his hands on the weapon they say he used to shoot his sister; however, authorities believe that the gun belonged to the mother’s live-in boyfriend, the Ledger reports.
Currently, it is not clear if any charges will be pressed against either the adults in the home or the child. There is no law in Mississippi that holds adults responsible when children gain access to unsecured weapons. As for the 9-year-old, the sheriff noted, “The juvenile court will be in charge of what happens with him at this point. I think this is new ground for them, also.”
“In my opinion, kids watch video games where they shoot each other and hit the reset button and they come back to life. It’s not like that in the real world,” Cantrell added. “I’m not saying that’s necessarily what happened, but kids now are different than what they were when we were growing up.”
As the case involves children, Cantrell noted that investigators will not be rushing through with an investigation, signaling that the utmost care will be taken in the case.
“That’s why I’m not too fast to say anything because there are juveniles involved. We want to do what’s right and we’re going to get it right,” Cantrell said.