FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Detectives with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit say charges against an 11-year-old boy are warranted in the shooting death of an 8-year-old girl in late July.
A formal complaint was submitted Thursday by detectives to the Division of Juvenile Justice. In that complaint, the detectives said the boy should be charged with two counts of larceny of a firearm and one count of manslaughter.
On Thursday afternoon, the family of the killed 8-year-old held a press conference outside of the sheriff’s office.
“The larceny charges stem from an allegation of two firearms … being stolen from a safe of a relative,” said civil rights attorney Harry Daniels. “One of those weapons they believe was used in the shooting. It has been confirmed that the juvenile in fact was the shooter that ultimately took Jenesis’ life.”
Daniels said the boy had been documented holding weapons prior to the fatal incident.
“This wasn’t the first time he was in possession of guns,” Daniels said. “There’s multiple TikToks or YouTube or Instagram [videos] or whatever the case may be showing he had been in possession of weapons before.”
The attorney said the family also wants to see the adults who allowed the 11-year-old access to guns held accountable.
“We are not happy at this time that the supervision — parents, or whoever the case may be — that had control of these weapons are not being charged with a crime,” said Daniels.” And that’s something that we’re pushing for.”
Jenesis’ father Fon Dockery also spoke briefly Thursday and expressed his frustration.
“This has been a horrible nightmare — still doesn’t feel real,” Dockery said. “It’s hard to put into words how we’re trying to navigate, three weeks later, for something to happen.”
Detectives petitioned the division to seek a secured custody order for the offender, the sheriff’s office said Thursday. According to Daniels, juvenile justice officials have so far declined to take the boy into custody and has not yet officially pressed charges. Per North Carolina law, the division will determine the appropriate course of action.
“We appreciate the interest in the case and the support the Dockery Family received from the community as our Detectives worked tirelessly and diligently to investigate this case carefully and thoroughly,” the sheriff’s office said.
See the full press conference below.
The Department of Social Services, the Child Advocacy Center of Fayetteville, and the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office provided beneficial resources that furthered this investigation.
Due to state laws, information about the 11-year-old cannot be released. Unless there is substantial changes in this case, the sheriff’s office says it cannot release further details.
Eight-year-old Jenesis Dockery was shot on the afternoon of July 25 at a babysitter’s home in the 3300 block of Mercedes Drive, east of Fayetteville, the sheriff’s office said. She died later at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
More than two weeks after the shooting, an attorney for the girl’s family said that the 11-year-old had pulled the trigger.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective S. Odenwelder at (910) 677-5477 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).