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Martinez Smith-Payne St Louis Police
St Louis

Man will not be charged after shooting 13-year-old boy dead

The boy had been attempting to steal from a car.

A MAN WHO shot and killed a 13-year-old boy as he was stealing from an unlocked car was arrested but US prosecutors declined to press charges, police said today.

Martinez Smith-Payne, who is black, was found unconscious and bleeding in a back alley when police were called about a shooting in St Louis, Missouri at 12:47am on Sunday morning. He died in hospital.

“The investigation revealed the victim, along with two other juveniles, was attempting to steal items from an unlocked parked vehicle when the suspect confronted them, then fired shots at the juveniles,” St Louis police said in a statement.

The shooter, who was identified as a 60-year-old black man, was immediately taken into custody. He was released after prosecutors “refused” a police request to press charges, the statement said.

It was unclear if he was threatened by the teenagers prior to opening fire.

Police declined to provide further details about the incident.

A spokesman for the St Louis County prosecutor’s office did not immediately return requests for comment.

The office came under intense criticism for its handling of the police shooting of Michael Brown in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson last year.

The shooting sparked months of sometimes violent protest and plunged the United States into a debate about racism and the use of force by law enforcement, seen as sometimes excessive.

A boy with the same name as Smith-Payne was reported missing by his parents in June.

A local news report said Smith-Payne had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder and that his parents feared he had run away from home without his medication.

The boy, who lost four fingers in a fireworks accident at the age of 10, was found a few days later.

- © AFP 2015

Read: Toddler killed after siblings put her in the oven and switched it on

Read: Son killed his dad and stabbed his mam “because he was left out of fast food order”

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