The two boys had been playing with Nerf toys on Saturday night in Ridgebury Township, Pennsylvania, when a scuffle broke out over a toy gun. During a tug-of-war over the toy gun, the 9-year-old allegedly cut the 11-year-old boy with a knife that he was holding, according to the Elmira Star-Gazette.
The older boy, who was cut in the left upper chest, was transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, near the New York border . Unfortunately, life-saving efforts failed and the 11-year-old was pronounced dead at the hospital.
On Sunday, the SRU Elementary School confirmed the student who died was one of their own, making the announcement with a “tremendous amount of sadness.” The school decided to provide counselors for students or staff throughout the week and asked that members of the school community keep the student’s family and friends in their thoughts.
“If students or staff need any assistance dealing with this news, please do not hesitate to speak with a counselor or a trusted adult,” the school said. “If you or your child needs help after the school day or on weekends, please reach out to your building administrator, and they can provide you with additional resources.”
The Bradford County Coroner’s office ruled the 11-year-old’s death a homicide after performing an autopsy on Monday, according to WETM.
Newsweek reached out to the Bradford County Coroner’s office and the Pennsylvania State Police Department for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
The names of the boys have not been released and no charges have been filed. An investigation into the child’s death is still ongoing.
Although additional research is being done into the incident, District Attorney Albert Ondrey said it appears the 9-year-old boy will not be charged and is likely too young to face criminal charges, according to Penn Live. Under Pennsylvania law, a child must be at least 10 years of age to be considered delinquent. Children under the age of 10 who commit a delinquent act or crime are classified as a “dependent child,” meaning a 9-year-old would not come within the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile courts.
The two boys are not siblings, according to Ondrey, and were alone in a room when the stabbing occurred. However, adults were in the home at the time.