A Northeast Philadelphia 12-year old boy was arrested for brandishing a semiautomatic assault rifle. Reportedly, the boy wielded the gun during a dispute with a neighbor. A second weapon was also retrieved from Michael Mitchell, the 19-year old brother, of the boy. It appears the gun had been purchased legally. Luckily, the incident did not result in violence but raised questions about how the boy got the AR-15 rifle.
According to Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum, Mitchell and his 12-year old brother walked across the street to their neighbor’s home and knocked on the door. It was about 6:30 in the evening on Saturday. Mitchell had a handgun that belonged to his mother when he knocked on his neighbor’s door to settle a dispute with a teen that lived at that address. After the father of the teen opened the door and asked why the two boys were there, Mitchell yelled for brother get his gun. The 12-year-old, who is not being identified, ran home and returned with an assault rifle and pointed it at his neighbors. Police say, the gun was loaded with about 20 rounds of ammunition. The handgun had four rounds.
Officer Krzysztof Wrzesinski of the Philadelphia 15th District was on patrol nearby. The two brothers put both weapons in a car that was parked on the street and complied with Wrzesinki who took both boys into custody and secured both weapons. Mitchell refused to answer questions about why he had the gun but does not have a prior criminal record, which would have prevented kept him being able to purchase the rifle.
The mother of the two boys is cooperating with police and is said to be furious with her sons. She told the police that her older son took her handgun from a locked safe without her permission. Mitchell was charged with gun offenses, making terroristic threats and with the corruption of a minor. His bail was set for at $55,000. The 12-year old was charged as a juvenile and faces similar charges.
Police tweeted a photo of officer Wrzesinski holding the weapons that quickly went viral.