Texas boy, 10, admits to fatally shooting sleeping man when he was 7, authorities say – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — A 10-year-old Texas boy confessed to using his grandfather’s gun to fatally shoot a sleeping man in 2022, a week before his 8th birthday, according to the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office.

The murder investigation into the death of Brandon O’Quinn Rasberry, 32, who was shot once in the head at an RV park in Nixon, Texas, in January 2022, had gone nowhere until the child’s recent comments about a man he had shot and killed two years ago, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“During the investigation, all possible witnesses were spoken to and interviewed by investigators and all leads were exhausted,” the spokesperson said states release.

On April 12, a principal at the Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District told Gonzales County authorities that the elementary school student had threatened to attack and kill another student on a school bus the day before, prompting them to to conduct threat analysis, the release said.

School district officials informed the responding deputy that the 10-year-old had made comments about shooting and killing a man two years ago, according to the release.

Gonzales County detectives determined, based on what the child shared at school, that he may have had knowledge of Rasberry’s death.

School district Superintendent Jeff Van Auken said in an April 18 letter to parents obtained by CNN affiliate KSAT-TV that the child would not return to the school.

During a forensic interview at a child protection center, the child provided “information consistent with firsthand knowledge of the murder of Brandon Rasberry,” the news release said.

Authorities said the child said he was visiting his grandfather, who lived in the same RV park as Rasberry, on Jan. 16, 2022.

After obtaining a gun that he found in the glove compartment of his grandfather’s truck, the child told investigators he entered Rasberry’s camper, the release said.

Authorities said the child stated he had never met Rasberry, although he had seen him walking around the RV earlier that day.

The child told investigators he saw Rasberry sleeping, approached him and fired a shot, hitting the man once in the head, according to the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office.

“The child stated as he exited the RV, he discharged the firearm one more time on the couch inside the RV,” the statement said.

The child told authorities he then left the RV and placed the firearm back in the glove compartment of the truck.

“The child was also asked if he was angry with Brandon for any reason or if Brandon had ever done anything to him to make him angry. The child replied no,” police said. The Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office press release.

The child said his grandfather had pawned the gun, which investigators tracked down April 12 at a pawn shop in Seguin, Texas, the release said.

The Gonzales County Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Child Protective Services and Gonzales County Juvenile Rebation joined the investigation.

A forensic analysis and comparison of two spent shell casings found at the murder scene determined the pawned weapon was the same firearm used to kill Rasberry, according to authorities.

Due to the seriousness of the crime and the ongoing concern for the child’s mental well-being, the child was placed in 72-hour emergency detention,” the sheriff’s news release said.

The child was taken to a psychiatric hospital in San Antonio, Texas, for evaluation and treatment and later taken to the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office, where authorities said he was charged with making a terroristic threat with the school bus.

“The child was taken into custody by Gonzales County Juvenile Probation to await his court hearing at a later date,” the release said.

In Texas, a child cannot be held legally responsible for a criminal offense before the age of 10. Because the child was 7 years old at the time of Rasberry’s death, the Gonzales County Attorney’s Office will not file or accept murder charges in the case, the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office said.

CNN has contacted the Texas Department of Public Safety for comment.

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