Oklahoma sheriff: 13-year-old in custody for killing 10-year-old with crossbow

FILE - A modern crossbow is pictured May 16, 2013. (Konstantin Leonov/CC BY 2.0)

CHANDLER, Okla. (KOKH) - The Lincoln County sheriff says a 13-year-old boy is in custody in connection with a fatal crossbow incident. The department is investigating the shooting as a homicide.

Sheriff Charlie Dougherty says the unnamed teen was playing with 10-year-old Austin Almanza and his 8-year-old brother Ayden Saturday night at a tree house near 980267 S. Pecan Meadows.

"There was a disagreement amongst the three prior to the shooting," Sheriff Dougherty said.

The broadhead arrow shot from the crossbow traveled through Austin's body and struck his 8-year-old brother, Ayden, who was standing behind him. Austin died on scene, while Ayden was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released from the hospital.

"Ayden looks like he'll have a full recovery," said Dougherty. "There's not a lot of damage done to his arm."

The brothers' great aunt says the 13-year-old boy who shot her nephews is a likable kid, but he always seemed "a little off" to her. She says the teen got the crossbow on Friday night.

"It's my understanding it belonged to the child, that mom had got that for him," said Sheriff Dougherty.

The suspect is currently being held in a juvenile detention center. Dougherty expects the Lincoln County District Attorney's Office to file formal charges sometime this week.

"On an incident like this, I think you have to take the word accident plumb out," said Dougherty. "10-year-old Austin is not dead because of an accident. He’s dead because of an action that took place. So until something steers us in the other direction, we’re going to work it as a homicide."

Both Austin and Ayden attended White Rock Elementary School. The juvenile suspect attended a middle school in the county.

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