A 5-year-old boy was stabbed to death by his twin brother during a fight between the pair in California earlier this week, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced via a social media post.
The incident took place Wednesday just before 4 p.m. at the family home on Tucker Road in rural Scotts Valley where one of the boys grabbed a small kitchen knife and stabbed his twin sibling, police said. Scotts Valley is about six miles north of the city of Santa Cruz.
“Tragically, during the incident, one of the 5-year-old’s got a small kitchen knife and stabbed his twin brother,” the post reads.
Deputies were called to the scene and the victim was rushed to hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
“We are heartbroken for the family of these two young children and share in their grief,” the post continues.
The Sheriff’s Office said that based on its current investigation, the child was unaware of the wrongfulness of his actions and so no charges will be filed against the boy or anyone involved.
The Sheriff’s Office cited Penal Code 26 which presumes that youth under the age of 14 are not capable of committing a crime unless “at the time of committing the act charged against them, they knew its wrongfulness.”
Furthermore, since 2019, the state is no longer permitted to process children under 12 through the juvenile justice system.
Investigators said that there was also no indication of negligence or criminal activity by any other party.
Steven Clark, a former prosecutor, said the speed at which the sheriff’s office announced no charges were being brought, suggests the children were being properly supervised and in no inherent danger.
“[It] suggests that this family was acting appropriately, that this was just a one-off, horrible, tragic event,” Clark told ABC 7.
Ashley Keehn, the public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, reiterated that the incident was a tragic situation and no negligence was involved.
“Through investigation and witness interviews, there was no negligence,” Keehn told ABC 7. This ended up being just being a very tragic, horrific situation.”
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said it was not releasing any more information pertaining to the case and asked for the public to respect the family’s privacy.