NORFOLK, Va. — An 11-year-old boy is the latest person facing gun violence charges in Norfolk.
Norfolk Police Department investigators say officers arrested the child on Sunday and charged him with shooting a 17-year-old boy. It happened on Nicholson Street in Norfolk’s Young Terrace community.
Neighbor Willie Arrington said gun violence is an ongoing problem in the city but a shooting like this comes as a surprise.
“It just ain’t safe for nobody,” Arrington said. “It’s frightening.”
The teen is in the hospital in critical condition. Norfolk police officers charged the 11-year-old with malicious wounding.
Norfolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi said he expects experts will assess the boy to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.
“To assess whether this child has sufficiently developed -- his mind has sufficiently developed -- to him to stand trial,” Fatehi said. “He has to both have the capacity to understand what court is and also the knowledge, the teaching of who is in court, how court works. If the child doesn’t have the capacity then the child by law cannot stand trial. If the child has the capacity but doesn’t have the knowledge then the child needs to be educated.”
Fatehi said if the child has the capacity but doesn’t have the knowledge then it’s up to the juvenile court system to educate him.
“That addresses the basic question of someone who is a tween, someone who is not even a teenager, is in a position where Virginia law would permit a criminal prosecution against him,” Fatehi said.
The 11-year-old is also facing gun charges.
Arrington said he believes more community collaboration and police intervention are needed to stop crime.
“The police and everybody needs to do more but I don’t see it happening,” Arrington said. “It just don’t make sense. I’ve been ready to leave Youngs Park but can’t afford it right now.”
Fatehi said he couldn’t comment on whether the parents of the 11-year-old will face charges or not.
Fatehi also said a juvenile court judge will have to decide within 21 days whether to hold the child in a detention center or release him to a “less restrictive alternative.”
The shooting remains under investigation. If you have any information that may help detectives, you can call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. You can also submit a tip on P3 Tips.
You can remain anonymous and if your tip leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a cash reward.