The alarming death of a 6-year-old boy on the Kahkewistahaw First Nation last month became even more shocking on Tuesday.
RCMP say the suspect in the death of Lee Bonneau is himself a boy under the age of 12.
Staff Sgt. Larry Brost provided what little information he could to reporters Tuesday afternoon in Regina.
“The child that has been referenced as the suspect has been known to police,” he says. “He has been known through school, through community involvement and also police matters.”
Police say the suspect acted alone and likely used some sort of a weapon in the attack.
RCMP add they don’t have a motive for the attack and may never know why it happened.
Because the accused is under the age of 12, he cannot be held criminally responsible for his alleged actions and has been placed under the care of the Ministry of Social Services.
The ministry has also ordered two reviews into the death.
Social Services Minister June Draude says one review will be conducted by her department and the other by the Children’s Advocate.
She says this case is a double tragedy.
“When I think about the tragedy, we lost not just one child, we lost two,” she says. “We lost individuals that could be part of society right now. What can we do that’s better and I am going to be pushing with everything I’ve got.”
Draude says no time frame has been set for the inquiry but adds she is putting pressure on officials to get it done as soon as possible.
Children’s Advocate Bob Pringle says his office will move quickly to find answers. He was visibly shaken while talking about the case.
“It’s a very difficult time, it’s a very painful time, all children have a right to be safe and protected,” he says. “Whenever we don’t do that, that’s a sad situation. So that’s the situation we find ourselves in.”
The victim, Lee Bonneau, was in foster care at the time of this death.
He was visiting the Kahkewistahaw reserve with his foster mother when the tragedy took place.
He died of severe head injuries on Aug. 21.
Chief Sheldon Taypotat says residents are still trying to come to terms with what happened.
“It’s a tragedy that nobody can be prepared for but we’re doing our best as people to pull together and work this out,” he says.
Assistant Deputy Minister of Social Services Andrea Britton says the 10-year-old suspect is currently being assessed.
“The assessment will provide direction around the type of treatment that the child requires and the child will be placed in a facility that is able to meet that child’s needs to ensure he receives treatment and that he receives the supervision that he requires,” she says.
The suspect in this case is believed to be the youngest person to be accused of murder in Canada.
Draude says the safety of children under the government’s care is her number one concern.