12-year-old shooting victim still in critical condition

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office will determine whether Friday's shooting of a 12-year-old Lake Charles boy was intentional or accidental.

That's according to the Lake Charles Police Department.

Lake Charles authorities said Tuesday that the young victim remains in critical condition, but is showing signs of improvement.

Authorities also said they have sent the charges of aggravated battery and illegal use of dangerous instrumentality on the 16-year-old suspect in the case to the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney, along with the report for review.

The victim is at LSU Hospital in Shreveport.

Here is the original story on the shooting as well as updates:

The shooting happened around 11:20 p.m. Friday.

"Lake Charles Police responded to Memorial Hospital where we were notified that a 12-year-old boy had been shot," said Lake Charles Deputy Police Chief Mark Kraus.

That 12-year-old boy is now fighting for his life and facing paralysis in a Shreveport hospital while a 16-year-old sits in a juvenile detention center, charged with aggravated battery and illegal use of dangerous instrumentality.

"He was arrested late last night once the investigation began to unfold," Kraus said. "We kind of got a picture of what was happening ... the picture's not completely clear yet, but we hope to know something within the next few days."

While the picture isn't clear to police, family and friends of the shooting victim and suspect are sure the shooting was accidental.

Dell Louis, who didn't want to appear on camera, said she is the grandmother of the 12-year -old boy and lives in the house, in the 1600 block of 14th street, where the shooting took place.

Louis told KPLC the 16-year-old who was arrested is also her grandson.  Louis said growing up together, even living in the same house and sharing the same bed, the teen would never want to intentionally hurt his cousin.

"We don't know yet if this is an intentional shooting or not. Obviously, our detectives are just now getting information, just starting to work the case and we hope to have some answers soon in regards to that," Kraus said.

While the case still needs to unfold and questions still need to be answered, police are absolutely sure of a few things.

"We do know that we've made an arrest, a 16-year-old teenager. We do know that the incident occurred on 14th street and we have searched that residence ... in the meantime we have a 12-year-old boy who's injured, critically injured, and we hope that he turns out to be okay," Kraus said.

Find this weekend's story updates from this story in real-time below:

UPDATE as of 2:05 p.m. Sunday: KPLC 7 News has learned from a woman at the scene of the shooting, that the suspect and shooting victim may be related. The woman who said she is the boys' grandmother did not want to appear on camera, but said the two boys grew up in the same household. She also indicated that while police are still investigating, she believes the shooting was accidental. She also said the boy is conscious and communicating with his parents by blinking his eyes.

In a news release, Lake Charles Police say the 16-year-old suspect faces charges of aggravated battery and illegal use of dangerous instrumentality. He's been booked into the juvenile detention center. Neither the suspect nor the victim's name are being released because of their ages.

UPDATE as of 12:15 p.m. Sunday: According to Lake Charles Police Deputy Chief Mark Kraus, police made an arrest late last night of the 16-year-old suspect and are investigating the case as an intentional shooting until evidence shows differently. Deputy Chief Mark Kraus confirmed the 12-year-old boy is in critical condition in the hospital.

UPDATE as of 11:23 a.m. Saturday: Family friend Hope Benoit, tells 7News the shooting was accidental.  She says a 16-year-old was loading a gun behind the 12-year-old when the gun accidentally fired, shooting the boy in the back.  Benoit said the boy has a collapsed lung among other complications and could possibly face paralysis.  The 12-year-old's parents are with him in Shreveport. 

UPDATE as of 11:17 a.m. Saturday: According to Matt Felder with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, the boy was taken, in critical condition overnight, to LSU Hospital in Shreveport. Details about what happened are still unknown. Lake Charles Police are investigating.

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