Family of 12 year old killed in St. Paul call for teen suspect to be released

The family of a 12-year-old boy shot and killed Saturday morning in St. Paul’s North End is calling for the teen arrested in the case to be released. 

Markee Jones was shot and killed around 5 a.m. Saturday, after family members say a loaded gun was left inside his grandmother’s house. While police arrested a 14-year-old boy pending manslaughter charges, family say the shooting was accidental.

"You can’t accuse and charge a child for a mistake. This is an accident," said the boy’s great-aunt Marilyn Hill. "We’re going to stand in solidarity to the end to get him out."

At a vigil Sunday, multiple family members called for the gun owner to come forward.

"The person who should be charged for this should be the dog who left the gun in her house," said Hill.  "That 14-year-old boy don’t know what’s going on right now. The 14-year-old boy is sitting in the detention center and they won’t even release him to his mama."

Hill said Jones stayed at his grandmother’s house often, while his mother was at work. The family claims the grandmother is a devout Jehovah’s Witness and did not keep guns in the home. She was not home at the time of the shooting, but another adult family member was there.

Police said results of a preliminary investigation indicate Jones died from a single gunshot wound to the torso.