Boy fatally stabbed by 12-year-old at playground

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Associated Press

Posted on August 5, 2014 at 11:34 AM

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — A hearing is scheduled for a 12-year-old boy suspected in the fatal stabbing of a 9-year-old boy at a Michigan playground.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that the boy is expected to appear Tuesday afternoon in family court in the stabbing of Michael Conner Verkerke.

Neighbor Barb Poelman says she saw Michael run to his home at the Pinebrook Village mobile home park and collapse on the porch. Poelman says his mother saw her son bleeding and screamed "Where is the ambulance?"

Michael died after being rushed to a hospital.

Witnesses told investigators that four children were playing when one of them stabbed Michael with a knife.

Police say the older boy called police from a home near the playground at the mobile home park in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A 9-year-old boy died after being repeatedly stabbed by a 12-year-old boy at a playground in western Michigan, police said Tuesday.

Michael Conner Verkerke ran home and collapsed on the porch around 6 p.m. Monday after he was stabbed at a mobile home park in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids, according to police. Investigators said the older boy then left the playground and called police from a nearby home to turn himself in.

The 9-year-old died after being rushed to a hospital, Kentwood police said.

Witnesses told investigators that four children were playing when one of them, for unknown reasons, pulled a knife and stabbed the boy.

Glen Stacey, who lives nearby, told The Grand Rapids Press that the older boy approached him after the attack and asked to use his phone. He said the boy called 911 to report the attack.

Stacey said he also called police and described the boy as "very calm."

"The only time he raised his voice was when the police came," Stacy said.

When police arrived, Stacy said, they first went to aid the stabbing victim. When officers started heading toward the playground area, he said the boy on Stacy's lawn wanted police to pick him up and yelled "Hello. I'm right here. You're going the wrong way."

The motive in the attack was still being investigated, said Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen. No court hearing was immediately scheduled for the 12-year-old boy, who hasn't been charged.

Police said the 12-year-old boy was evaluated at a hospital before being taken to the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center pending charges. Police didn't immediately release additional details about the child.

An autopsy is planned by the Kent County Medical Examiner's Office. The Kent County prosecutor's office will determine whether the boy will be charged as a juvenile or an adult, Hillen said.

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