9-year-old boy stabbed by 12-year-old dies

KENTWOOD, Mich. — Michael Conner Verkerke, 9, who was stabbed by a 12-year-old has died.

A court hearing for the suspect will be held Tuesday afternoon.

Police say four children were playing in the playground near Pinebrook Village mobile home park around 6 p.m. on Aug. 4, when, for unknown reasons, the 12-year-old suspect pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed the victim. Neighbors living across from the playground say they heard yelling and saw boys running away with one holding his back in pain.

Verkerke ran back to his home where he collapsed on the porch and EMS was called. He was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

A witness near the mobile home park tells FOX 17 that a child approached him and asked to use his phone because he had just stabbed someone.

“He approached me at my house, I offered him my phone and I assumed he was calling his mother,” said Glen Stacy. “Lo and behold he was calling 9-1-1 to say ‘I stabbed someone, please pick me up, I want to end my life.'”

Stacy said the boy was calm and cooperated with police when they arrived on scene. He also said the suspect told him he was upset because nobody loved him and mentioned he had taken multiple pills earlier in the day. Officers took the suspect to an area hospital for evaluation and later took him to the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center pending formal charges.

The motive behind the stabbing is still unclear but the suspect doesn’t appear to have any juvenile police record.

Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 or Detective Sergeant Jason Roelofs at the Kentwood Police Department Detective Bureau at (616) 656-6600.

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