Most boys his age are out there playing ball or other games. But not Jarrell Milton. The 12-year-old boy was out there running from the police after being tagged as prime suspect for the death of a much older man. The pre-teen had been arrested on Tuesday and is now in police custody.
Milton, along with 15-year-old Shuntayvious Primes-Willis and 17-year-old Jamar E. Milton, will be charged with first-degree murder for the death of 31-year-old drug dealer Jamymell Ray. The latter was gunned down on June 29 in broad daylight.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine told ABC affiliate KETV the three suspects allegedly arranged a meet-up with Ray for a marijuana deal. They were to meet at the northeast corner of Miller Park in North Omaha. The trio allegedly planned to rob Ray, who happened to be with a friend, Charles Fisher.
Fisher was only injured in the open fire. Afterwards, he positively identified his two teen attackers in a police lineup.
Kleine told KETV the crime scene yielded shell casings from two different types of guns, which meant that “all three suspects had guns.” Milton was captured and arrested 300 miles away from his Omaha, Nebraska home. He will go through court proceedings in Minneapolis, and then will be extradited back to Omaha, U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson Chris White told ABC News. Milton is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
“It’s incomprehensible. It’s unbelievable when you think of somebody who’s 12 years old, seventh grade or sixth grade, and being charged with murder for having a gun – approaching somebody and using that firearm with two other people that also had firearms,” Kleine said. “All of it’s even impossible to imagine that it’s even a possibility.”
Prosecutors believe the shooting was gang-related. A WOWT report states that when Jarrell was only a toddler, his mother was convicted for felony assault. His father, too, is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence in Minnesota for a 2010 murder.
Bruce Ferrell, a former gang unit officer in Omaha and now chairman of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association, told NBC News street gangs in that area train their children well early so they will mold into their lifestyle. (Read: Utah teen gets parole upon victim’s request)
“I started in the gang unit in 1988, and there are guys back then who are now grandfathers who taught their sons — who are now teaching their sons to be a gang member,” Ferrell said.
Authorities are however investigating how the pre-teen arrived into Minneapolis from Omaha, the ABC reports. But they strongly believed he wasn’t alone when he traveled. “It’s a difficult thing to wrap your head around,” White said. “We have arrested kids under 16 for homicide, so this is not the first time, but this is definitely the youngest arrest and it has the most unique circumstances.”