An Ohio teen has been charged with aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of his 11-year-old brother, an act that police officials said was premeditated.
Streetsboro Police Department officials said that officers and city fire medics responded just after 9:30 p.m. Monday to the boys’ home, where they found the 11-year-old with a single gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
“The victim’s 13-year-old brother was taken into custody in what appears to be a premeditated shooting,” police officials said in a statement.
Police and Streetsboro school officials identified the victim as Caleb Lishing. The older brother has been identified as Elijah Lishing, a student at Bio-Med Science Academy in Rootstown.
News 5 in Cleveland reported that the Elijah Lishing fled the scene on foot, but was found nearby. He was arrested and booked into the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center.
The boys’ were with a babysitter when the shooting took place. News 5 reported that the sitter frantically called 911 to get help.
“Something terrible has happened,” the woman said in the call, which the news station obtained. “I’m babysitting two kids. There’s blood everywhere.”
The caller told police that Caleb Lishing went to bed around 8:30 p.m. and his brother, a short time later. When she heard a ‘pop,” she ran into the younger boy’s bedroom.
“The other boy came out and said, ‘What was that?’ and I ran in here,” the babysitter said.
Caleb Lishing had a hole in his neck and the room smelled of gunpowder, News 5 reported.
“He’s got blood just pouring out of his mouth,” the caller said. “I don’t think he’s breathing.”
The babysitter did CPR on the victim until paramedics arrived. The Record-Courier in Kent reported that the woman screamed for Elijah Lishing, but he didn’t respond.
“He’s 11 years old and I don’t know where his brother went,” the woman said of Caleb Lishing. “I heard a pop and there’s blood in his chest.”
Elijah Lishing is accused of shooting his brother with a .357 Magnum stolen from his grandfather’s home. The Record-Courier reported that the teen had to break into a locked gun cabinet to get the weapon.
He is accused of taking apart part of the cabinet when he couldn’t find the key, which the grandfather kept at a different home, the newspaper reported.
Monday’s shooting isn’t the first time police were called to the Lishing home. Police reports indicate that officers were called to the house four days before the homicide after Elijah Lishing’s stepmother reported that he was being “unruly.”
The teen, who expressed thoughts of harming himself, was taken to a behavioral health center for evaluation, News 5 reported. It was unclear what treatment he may have received.
The boys’ parents were out of the country at the time of the shooting, but were on their way home after being contacted by investigators, the Record-Courier said.
Caleb Lishing’s slaying is the first homicide in Streetsboro in nearly 20 years.
“It doesn’t happen here,” Lt. Patricia Wain, a police department spokeswoman, told News 5. “It’s traumatizing. A lot of our officers here have kids that age, so to have to walk into that and see that and take that call, it’s very difficult.”
A statement from Streetsboro City Schools administrators said that the school community was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Caleb Lishing, who was in the fifth grade.
“Caleb was a well-liked student by his peers and teachers, and (he) loved coming to school each day,” the statement said. “He was a gentle soul who loved to read and talk to the adults around him.”
More than 20 grief counselors were on hand Tuesday to talk with students, faculty, staff members and parents about the loss. The counselors were also offering advice on how to recognize warning signs of potential trouble in children.
Children who are depressed may complain of feeling sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent or caregiver or worry excessively that a parent may die,” officials said on the district website. “Older children may sulk, get into trouble, be negative or grouchy or feel misunderstood. Youth are more likely to respond to treatment if they receive it early in the course of their illness.”
Police officials asked for respect and kindness toward the family in a statement on the department’s Facebook page.
“We ask that you keep the family in your thoughts during this difficult time,” the police statement said. “While we respect that everyone may have strong feelings about the incident, we request that you keep your comments positive with respect to the family and our community as they grieve their loss.”
Elijah Lishing was due in juvenile court for an initial appearance Wednesday afternoon. A judge issued a gag order in the case to protect the teen’s identity, but the ruling was handed down after police had already released his name and details of the case, the Record-Courier said.
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