RIDGEBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WETM) – Pennsylvania State Police are investigating an incident where a nine-year-old killed an 11-year-old boy with a knife in Bradford County.
On Oct. 30, around 8:00 p.m., the two children had been playing with Nerf toys when a scuffle happened. There was a “tug of war” that resulted over a Nerf gun.
During the struggle, the 9-year-old, who had been holding a knife at the time, cut the 11-year-old in his upper left chest area.
“I think there’s too many factors and variables that could be contributing factors to say whether [the 9-year-old] did or did not understand what was happening,” Child Psychologist at Arnot Health William George said.
The victim was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, where they were pronounced deceased after life-saving attempts failed.
State Police are classifying this incident as a homicide. It’s not the first time a minor has been involved in a homicide case in the Southern Tier.
Eric Smith, who is known nationally for killing a four-year-old in 1993, will be released from prison this month after spending 27 years behind bars.
Saturday’s homicide, as well as Smith’s case, come amid an uptick in Childhood violence and behavioral issues.
“There’s no one that isn’t a little bit more on edge because of the stresses our society is facing,” Elmira Heights Superintendent Michael Gill said. “And I think it manifests in our classrooms a little bit more.”
Some experts believe the increase could be a result of students being back in the classroom for the first time in 18 months.
This is an ongoing investigation, 18News will provide more information as it becomes available.