Boy, 9, fatally stabbed by 12-year-old on playground

KENTWOOD, Mich. - A 9-year-old boy, who was stabbed repeatedly by a 12-year-old boy on a playground in western Michigan, died Monday night.

Michael Conner Verkerke died from his injuries after being stabbed in the playground area in the Pinebrook Village community in Kentwood, Mich.

Police say that four children were playing when one of the kids pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed Verkerke. The 9-year-old was able to run back to his porch, where he collapsed. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

A 12-year-old boy left the playground and went to a nearby residence and asked to use the phone. He called police and turned himself in. Police took the boy to the hospital for evaluation and he is now held at the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center.

The motive in the attack was still being investigated, said Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen. No court hearing was immediately scheduled for the 12-year-old boy, who hasn't been charged.

Glenn Stacy said he was approached by the 12-year-old after the incident and the boy asked to use his phone.

"I was getting my ladder," said Stacy, "and this young man came and asked me if he could use my phone. I gave him my phone, and I heard him tell the 911 operator, 'I just stabbed someone. Come and get me. I want to die.' It was just a sad situation."

An autopsy is planned by the Kent County Medical Examiner's Office. The Kent County prosecutor's office will determine whether the boy will be charged as a juvenile or an adult, Hillen said.

Contributing: The Associated Press


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