Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office posted on social media that a five-year-old boy died after his twin brother stabbed him to death during a fight they had earlier in the week.
The incident took place Wednesday just before 4 p.m. at the family home on Tucker Road in rural Scotts Valley where one of the boys grabbed a small kitchen knife and stabbed his twin sibling, police said. Scotts Valley is about six miles north of the city of Santa Cruz.
The post states: “Tragically during the incident, a 5-year-old got a small knife and stabbed his twin brother.”
The victim was taken to hospital and later died from his injuries.
“We are heartbroken for the family of these two young children and share in their grief,” the post continues.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, based on the current investigation the boy was unaware of his wrongdoing, and therefore no charges would be filed against him or anyone else involved.
The Sheriff’s Office cited Penal Code 26 that presumes youths under 14 years of age are incapable of committing crimes unless they “knew the wrongfulness of the act at the time it was committed against them.”
Since 2019, the state has no longer been allowed to prosecute children under the age of 12 in the juvenile justice system.
Investigators also said there was no evidence of criminal or negligent activity on the part of any other parties.
Steven Clark, former prosecutor said that the speed with which the sheriff’s office announced the no-charges announcement suggests the children are being adequately supervised and not in any danger.
Clark, ABC 7, said: “It implies that this family acted appropriately and that this was a tragic, one-off event.”
Ashley Keehn is the public information officer at the Sheriff’s Office. She reiterated the fact that this was a tragic incident and there was no negligence involved.
Keehn said to ABC 7 that “through investigation and witness interviews there was no neglect.” “It was a tragic and horrific situation.”
Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has said that it will not release any further information about the case, and asks the public to respect the privacy of the family.