2 arrested in connection to shooting death of 5-year-old

7:54 PM, Jun 29, 2012   |    comments
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  • Murder victim Nizzel Anthony George
  • Nizzel George's mother Christina Banks
  • Home where Nizzel George died
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  • MINNEAPOLIS - Two juveniles have been arrested in connection to a shooting in North Minneapolis that killed a 5-year-old boy who was sleeping on a couch inside of the home on Tuesday.

    Minneapolis police said one of the juveniles is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center on a charge of probable cause murder and the other is being held on a charge of probable cause weapons possession. The arrests were made on Thursday night, police said.

    Police said they are working with the Hennepin County Attorney's Office to determine appropriate formal charges in the case. Those charges are expected on Monday.

    "The detective stopped by and told me they had two suspects, but they couldn't release any information to me," Christina Banks, the young victim's mother told KARE.

    "It doesn't make anything better. It doesn't bring justice. It doesn't bring closure. It doesn't make anything better. It's making it worse to me," Banks said.

    The shooting occurred on Tuesday morning, when someone standing outside fired at least 10 rounds into the front of the home at 45th and Bryant Avenue North. Nizzel George, one of four children sleeping on the first floor of the wood frame home, suffered a fatal wound to the back.

    The boy is known by loved ones as "Stewie," but his mother identifies him as Nizzel George. She told KARE 11 she is devastated by her son's death, calling him, "my hero."

    The "Nizzel" tattoo on Christina Bank's right wrist serves as a constant reminder of the boy who suddenly lost his life three days ago.

    "Just being alive here is going to remind me of my baby. Period. Anything. Everything. I'm envisioning my baby right now," she said.

    On Friday afternoon, Nizzel's uncle, Lewis George, said he welcomed the news of the arrests and said he hoped everyone responsible has been captured.

    "I feel relieved since they've got two people in custody," he told reporters who gathered in front of the bullet-riddled home.

    "I can sleep a little bit better, but at the same time, is it really them? The two they got? Because a lot of fingers are pointed in a lot of ways."

    George said he was saddened by the idea that young teens often can't navigate the English language or basic math functions, and yet can easily kill.

    "Most of the kids that pick up a gun don't even know their time tables or can't even spell half of the words they say. It's sad for my nephew to be gone like that," he said.

    Chief Tim Dolan says the boy was not targeted, but someone in the home was the intended victim, and it was over an undisclosed dispute. Dolan did not say if the incident was gang-related.

    Four Minneapolis homicide sergeants were assigned to the case after the shooting occurred on Tuesday.

    The Minneapolis Police Department is working with the Hennepin County Attorney's Office to determine appropriate charges, which could come Monday. Additional information will be released on Monday as well.

    A vigil is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m.

    The little boy's funeral is set for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Shiloh Temple, 1201 West Broadway Ave. in Minneapolis.

    (Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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