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Police: Suspect in custody for fatal shooting of 7-year-old

The unidentified suspect's case has been handed to the Circuit Attorney's office.

August 12, 2019 - 6:23 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) updated 5 p.m. Friday  A person has been taken into custody for the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Xavier Usanga in north St. Louis Monday evening.

No charges have been issued and no other information has been released, as of 5 p.m. Friday.

St. Louis police told KMOX Friday morning the case is now in the hands of the Circuit Attorney. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's spokeswoman, Susan Ryan,  sent the following written statement:

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"Our job is not to simply charge someone so we can check the box. Our job is to pursue justice by holding the right person accountable with sufficient evidence. A lot of police work needs to be done before charges can be filed with sufficient evidence. Prosecutors have provided police with a list of information that is needed to secure a conviction in a court of law."

Usanga was shot and killed while playing outside of his Hyde Park home Monday, according to St. Louis Metro Police Cheif John Hayden. An 18-year-old man standing nearby was injured in the backyard of the Usangas’ home, in the 3500 block of North 14th Street, just after 5 p.m. Monday evening.

Spokesperson Jack Wang told KMOX a person is in custody, but they did not provide any further information at the time.

Hayden did not release many details Monday about the shooting, including a suspect description or whether the victims knew each other or the shooter. Police said they recovered a pistol from the scene.

Police say the 7-year-old boy has become the 11th St. Louis-area child killed in a shooting since June.

Investigation is ongoing.

Note: Police initially said the child was 11-years-old, not 7

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