St. Pete teen accidentally shoots 11-year-old brother to death with stolen gun: SPPD

An 11-year-old boy was shot to death on Friday afternoon and St. Petersburg police say his 14-year-old brother is the one who pulled the trigger.

Police responded to the home at 1421 43rd Street South at 12:15 p.m. They found the boy, 11-year-old Amir Williams, with a gunshot wound. He died at the scene.

"I’ll just be blunt," St. Pete Police Assistant Chief Michael Kovacsev said. "This is a community tragedy. We have an 11-year-old child who sustained a gunshot wound and is deceased inside the residence at home with two siblings. Access to firearms is something that we have been going over and over again in this police department for the last couple of years, and it continues to be a problem."

Pictured: Amir Williams. Image is courtesy of the Williams family.

Pictured: Amir Williams. Image is courtesy of the Williams family. 

Police said the brothers were home with their 13-year-old sister. Students had the day off from school in Pinellas County on Friday. 

After the shooting, police said the 13-year-old girl called their mother and told her what happened. As their mom was racing to get home, police said she was involved in a crash on the interstate that severely damaged her car. Police said she had minor injuries. They went on to say she took a rideshare home.

Police said Amir’s 14-year-old brother told detectives he found the gun in a nearby alley, and said the family didn’t know it was in the home.


Officers said the gun was reported stolen on April 24 from a car, and St. Pete detectives are now trying to determine how the 14-year-old got it. Police said so far this year, 61 guns have been reported stolen and 53 of them were taken from cars. 

Last year, 251 guns were reported stolen in St. Pete and 173 of them were taken from cars. Police have recovered 102.

"The key thing I just want to say is this is another community tragedy. An 11-year-old, senseless in the fact that a firearm should not have been there and because an 11-year-old was able to be near it, the fact is, this is where we are today," Kovacsev said. 

He added, "A teenager should not have had a firearm. He was playing around with the firearm and it discharged. An 11-year-old child was killed."  

Amir’s family said he was the running back for the St. Pete Little Devils football team, and a sixth grader at Azalea Middle School.

"He was very joyful and playful all the time with my little brother, and I love him to death," Zy’Cariyah Williams, Amir’s sister, said.

"He was a good kid and my condolences go out to the whole family and the healing process is only beginning, and I can’t imagine what the mom is going through and the sister who was in the house with them," Darryl Walls, a family friend and former football coach, said. "I can’t imagine what they’re going through."

"It’s easy access for them to get the guns and that’s not good, and like I was telling them before, me and some friends of mine, we’re in the process of trying to get a program together, a youth program together, to guide these youth and do some sort of prevention stuff, because when it gets to this point, it’s too late. You got a family grieving, got an 11-year-old gone," Walls said. "He was a good kid and at this point, it’s too late."

Kovacsev said the teen will not likely be charged on Friday, but said that doesn’t mean SPPD won’t potentially talk with the State Attorney’s Office down the road about potential charges.

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