MOUNT MORRIS TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The 6-year-old boy who fatally shot a fellow first-grader lived in a ''flophouse'' and used a stolen handgun he apparently found loaded and lying in a bedroom there, the prosecutor said today.
The boy's jailed father told a sheriff he had ''a sickening feeling'' his son was involved when he heard about the shooting.
Genesee County Prosecutor Arthur Busch said the boy's home was frequented by strangers.
''This boy comes from a very troubled home,'' Busch said on NBC's ''Today'' show. ''He is really a victim of a drug culture and a house that's really in chaos.''
Kayla Rolland, also 6, died a half-hour after she was shot in the chest at Buell Elementary School on Tuesday morning. Busch said there may have been ''some sort of scuffle or quarrel on the playground'' between the two a day earlier in which one child slapped the other.
Busch said someone could face charges for enabling the boy to get the .32-caliber handgun, which officials said had been reported stolen in December. Investigators also found a stolen 12-gauge shotgun and other evidence in the home, the prosecutor said.
''It's our understanding from the police investigation that this gun was obtained from a bedroom under some blankets which had been left laying, apparently loaded, in this bedroom,'' Busch said at a news conference.
Police said they were seeking someone for questioning about the gun but they would release no other details. The Flint Journal reported that police were seeking a 19-year-old man who was believed to be a roommate of the boy's uncle.
The boy pulled the pistol from his pants, aimed it at another classmate and then turned it on the little girl, Busch said.
''His actions were naughty, in his mindset,'' he said. ''What he understood he did is another matter. ...
''He is a victim in many ways,'' Busch said. ''It is very sad, we need to put our arms around him and love him.''
The boy didn't seem to understand the gravity of the shooting when he was questioned, Police Chief Eric King said. After being interviewed, the boy ''sat there drawing pictures,'' the chief said.
Busch said the boy was staying with a relative and police said he would be put in state custody.
The boy lived with his mother, a man described as an uncle and a younger sibling, Busch said. The boy's father is in the county jail.
''There were people coming and going from this house,'' he said. When police went to the house ''there were several people just hanging out. I call it a flophouse.''
State law allows adult prosecution of young offenders, but the prosecutor said he thinks charges are unlikely in this case.
''You have to be old enough to form criminal intent to commit the crime of murder,'' Busch said Tuesday night. ''The common law of our country says that a child under the age of 7 is not criminally responsible -- cannot be convicted of a felony.''
The boy's father told Genesee County Sheriff Robert J. Pickell his son had been suspended from school for behavioral problems including fighting, the Journal reported. The father, 29, whom the Journal did not identify, has been jailed since Feb. 20 for an alleged parole violation involving burglary, Pickell said.
The sheriff said the father told him that when he heard about the shooting Tuesday he feared his child was involved.
''He said a sickening feeling came over him ... because he knew his son and knew the type of problems he'd been having,'' Pickell told the Journal.
Pickell said that when the father asked the boy about fights with other youngsters, the child said: ''I hate them.''
Classes were canceled at the school today.
Sheila Alger and her 4-year-old son, Austin, placed a teddy bear at the school's front door, which has become a makeshift memorial of candles, flowers and cards.
''(Austin) doesn't understand, and I don't think other kids do,'' Alger said. ''I don't think the boy who did it understands.
At the time of the shooting, most of the 22 students in the classroom had filed into a hallway to head to the library and just five students remained inside. Busch said the teacher was standing in the doorway when the boy fired the only bullet in the gun.
A girl who identified herself as a classmate, 6-year-old Haili Durbin, told The Associated Press that Kayla had yelled at the boy because he spit on her desk and stood on it. Haili was interviewed with her father present.
Asked about the girl's account, Busch said: ''I wouldn't take that too seriously at this point. That's not what we've learned from talking to several witnesses.''
Busch said the school had no metal detectors but had ''non-police private security'' workers.
The boy is the youngest suspect in the deadly school shootings that have rocked communities around the country over the past three years. In 1998, two boys, 11 and 13, opened fire at a school in Jonesboro, Ark., killing five.
''Where does it stop? First-graders shooting first-graders. The culture of violence is manifesting itself here with what occurred,'' said Sam Riddle, a spokesman for the family of Isaiah Shoels, who was among 12 students killed by teen-age gunmen at Columbine High School in Colorado last year. Riddle grew up in Flint, 60 miles northwest of Detroit.
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