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9-year-old Arkansas girl fatally shot her 7-year-old brother, police say

crime scene, crime tape, violent crime, police AP

(CBS/AP) LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Police say a 9-year-old girl was responsible for the shooting death of her 7-year-old brother at the family's Arkansas apartment on Monday. The children's parents had left the two alone to sign paperwork at a nearby leasing office.

The girl initially told authorities two men entered their Little Rock apartment and shot her brother, but detectives didn't find any signs of forced entry and nothing in the apartment was missing, according to a police report.

Little Rock Police Sgt. Cassandra Davis said conversations with the girl led investigators to believe she was responsible for the shooting, but refused to discuss the details of the incident. Davis would not say if authorities believed it to be an accident.

The children's father told officers his daughter has high-functioning autism, but it's not clear whether that played a role in the shooting.

Under Arkansas law, a child younger than 10 years old cannot be charged with an offense, Dorcy Corbin, a lawyer who specializes in juvenile defense, told the Associated Press.

The girl's father told police he locked the front door when he and his wife went to sign paperwork, and it was locked when he returned, according to the police report. He told police that after he and his wife returned to the apartment, his daughter said her brother was hurt.

When police officers arrived, first responders performed CPR on the boy, who appeared to have been shot in the chest. He was rushed to a local hospital and later pronounced dead.

The children's father told police he had firearms in a case in the back bedroom. Authorities found blood marks in that room and closet, along with a large pool of blood in the closet near a silver case, according to the police report.

Davis said the girl was taken to a medical facility for an evaluation and that she didn't believe the girl was in police custody.

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