Authorities in Oklahoma have arrested a 13-year-old boy accused of shooting to death a 10-year-old friend with a crossbow and injuring the victim’s eight-year-old brother.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies responded to South Pecan Meadows Drive on Saturday evening after receiving a call about an incident involving a crossbow.
Responding officers found 10-year-old Austin Almanza dead at the scene. His younger brother, Ayden, was struck by the same broad-head arrow that killed his sibling, and the bolt was still protruding from his arm when deputies arrived.
Tragic death: Austin Almanza, 10 (pictured left and right in his Halloween costume), was shot and killed with a crossbow that also injured his eight-year-old brother
Austin, brother Ayden and their 13-year-old friend were playing in a vacant lot along South Pecan Meadows Drive in Lincoln County, Oklahoma (pictured) Saturday
Investigators have determined that the crossbow-wielding shooter was a 13-year-old boy, who was not related to the victims.
Sheriff Charles Dougherty said the older boy was a friend and playmate of the Almanza brothers, and all three would often spend time together in a treehouse in a vacant lot along South Pecan Meadows Drive.
Sheriff Dougherty said during a press conference that the three boys were playing together AT 6PM on Saturday, and that Ayden was standing behind Austin and to the right of him at the time of the shooting.
The arrow pierced the left side of the 10-year’s old body, traveled through his torso, exited his right side and pierced his younger brother’s left arm.
Ayden Almanza was taken to a hospital for treatment, after which he was released home.
A broad-head arrow pierced the left side of Austin’s (pictured) body, exited the right and stuck Ayden in the arm
The 10-year-old elementary school student (pictured with baby sister) was pronounced dead at the scene
The suspect in Austin’s killing was taken into custody and is being held at a juvenile detention center. The sheriff’s office is investigating the incident as a homicide.
Both Austin and Ayden Almanza were students at White Rock Elementary School in southwest Lincoln County. Their older friend attended a middle school in the county.
A relative has described Austin in a Facebook tribute as beautiful, joyful and ‘incredibly precious.’
A YouCaring campaign has been launched to help raise money for Austin’s funeral and to help with his brother’s medical expenses.