Man charged with shooting 11-year-old boy over fireworks dispute


by Staff

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 7 at 12:11 PM

4200 McRee Avenue St. Louis, MO

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ST. LOUIS ( – An 11-year-old boy is recovering from a gunshot wound after police say his neighbor shot him for playing with fireworks near the Botanical Gardens late Thursday night.

William Prada, 56, was charged with three counts each of first-degree assault and armed criminal action after allegedly firing shots at Michael Scott and two other boys.

Michael said he and his buddies had moved to the alley along Blaine Avenue in the Botanical Heights neighborhood to pop off the last of their Fourth of July fireworks. Michael says one burned him, so he threw it.

"And the firework bounced over by the man, and he had said something when it popped," Michael said.  "He said, 'You damn kids,' and I'm like 'Whoa,' so I said 'Let's move.'"

The boys hopped on their bikes.

"And all we heard was the firework pop and a gunshot," Christopher Cain, another boy with Michael, said.

"I fell off my bike from the second shot," Michael said.

Michael Scott is back home, nursing a gunshot wound to his left leg.

"The bullet went right through," Michael said.

Michael's family says they know William Prada and don't know why he didn't just tell them or even call police.

"He could have told us. We could have told [Michael], 'Come over here, stop popping fireworks,'" Terrionna Washington, Michael's cousin, said.  "It was the day after the Fourth.  Why would you shoot him? It was just pointless. He's a kid anyway, just popping fireworks, trying to have fun."

"If he was trying to scare me, he should have shot in the air or something like that," Michael said.  "But he hit me."

Neighbors say police pulled several guns out of Prada's home after the boys identified him as the shooter. Police say he admitted to it.