Family seeks justice in 11-year-old's shooting death -

Family seeks justice in 11-year-old's shooting death

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

( -- The mother of an 11-year-old who was shot and killed by a 6-year-old Wednesday has a message for all gun owners.

“If you have a gun in your house, don’t leave it around your child,” said Darnisha Combs. “Accidents happen.”

Leonard Smith Junior’s parents want someone to be held accountable for his death.

Detectives say they wrapped up their investigation and sent all the paperwork to the Prosecutor’s Office Thursday to decide if someone will be charged in the case.

Smith was going into the sixth grade and went by the nickname Little James.

“He was a sweet boy, love to play the games, real big basketball player,” his mother said. “Everybody loved him, he kept a smile on his face.”

Leonard Smith Sr. said his son was riding with him when he decided to stop at a family friend’s house on North 98 Street In Belleville.

Smith Sr. says the 6-year-old at the residence got a gun out and pointed it at his son and another child. He then told them to duck then pulled the trigger.

“If you going to get a gun, put it in a lock box, put it somewhere, in the attic, somewhere that’s a safe place, don’t put it in a closet or someplace you know your baby goes,” said Combs.

“I think justice needs to be done,” Smith added.

The State’s Attorney's Office is now working on answering whether justice equals charges of manslaughter or endangering the welfare of a child against the parents of the six-year-old.


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