Mother of 10yo boy shot dead by another child in California says he was killed over lost bike race

A makeshift memorial for a child killed by another child is seen at an apartment complex in Sacramento County, California.
A makeshift memorial for a child killed by another child is seen at an apartment complex in Sacramento County, California. Photo credit: KCRA via CNN

By Orko Manna for CNN  

Loved ones are remembering a 10-year-old boy who was shot and killed over the weekend as a sweet soul who did not deserve to die.

Dozens of family members, friends and community members gathered Monday night at the site of the shooting off Greenholme Drive in Sacramento County for a vigil in honour of 10-year-old Keith "KJ" Frierson.

Brittani Frierson, Keith's mother, said another young boy, who Keith had played with in the past, shot Keith Saturday afternoon right outside the family's apartment after losing a bike race.

"My baby… asked me can he go outside to ride. Not even 15 minutes later, my baby was gone. All because he was enjoying a race with some other kids he considered his friends on his new bike," Brittani said. "This wasn't supposed to happen. It's not OK."

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office said the shooting happened around 4:30pm Saturday (local time). Deputies arrested a 10-year-old boy and his father, identified as 53-year-old Arkete Davis, in connection to the shooting.

Investigators said the 10-year-old child got a gun from Davis' vehicle and shot and killed another 10-year-old boy, who family members have identified as Keith Frierson. Detectives also said Davis tried to get rid of the gun by throwing it into a nearby trashcan.

"Instead of aiding my baby, he tried to hide it. He tried to cover it up. He left my baby there," Brittani said. "He will pay for this. He will. We'll get justice for my son. I will get justice for my son."

Loved ones, including Keith's godmother Nina Trepagnier, said they blame Davis for the fates of both Keith and the other 10-year-old boy accused of shooting him.

"It starts at home," Trepagnier said. This is the parents' fault. They failed that child. And it took our bay, because they failed him, because they were poor examples."

At Monday night's vigil, those closest to Keith described him as a loving, selfless and kind person.

"He was very funny, always joking, always laughing, super helpful, super dependable, super respectful," Trepagnier said.

People described Keith as an active child who loved sports. He played football for the Jr. Foothill Mustangs. His coaches came to the vigil to pay tribute to the kid they called a "gentle giant."

"We're going to miss him," Trepagnier said. "We're going to miss him a lot. Shouldn't have happened, man. I never expected anything like this to happen to anybody I know, especially Keith. Keith was a great kid, man, did not expect this at all."

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office said the gun used in the shooting was reported stolen in 2017. Deputies also said Davis is a felon and should not have even had a firearm at all.

The 10-year-old suspected shooter was transported to the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility, where he was charged with murder. Davis was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on several felony gun-related charges, as well as child endangerment and accessory after the fact.

Davis is being held on a US$500,000 bail and is expected to be in court on Wednesday (local time).