Authorities have not determined the cause of the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy by his 14-year-old half brother at the Jersey City home of a corrections officer, and many unanswered questions remain about how the shooting occurred and what happened in its aftermath.
Police said the victim was at a home on Randolph Avenue with a 14-year-old boy when the shooting occurred Friday evening.
Family members identified the victim to NBC New York as Hassan "Hass" George, and the 14-year-old as his half-brother. Investigators would not confirm the relationship between the boys.
"His half-brother had called for him to come to the house, and less than an hour later he was dead," the victim's grieving mother, April Alexander, told NBC New York Saturday.
Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said the crime scene indicates the boy was shot once in the chest inside the home. But his body was discovered on the sidewalk outside the house, where he was pronounced dead around 6 p.m. Friday.
DeFazio said the boy was likely still alive when he was moved. But who moved him, when that happened and why remains unclear.
The semi-automatic pistol belonged to the 14-year-old's mother, Shaara Green-Sims, a 38-year-old Hudson County Corrections officer who was home at the time of the shooting.
DeFazio said George lived in the area. George's mother didn't know why his half-brother called him over.
"Hurt and pain, my baby's gone, I don't have him anymore," said Alexander. "He was in the house, and he's just gone."
No one inside Green-Sims' home would speak to NBC New York but those who knew George were stunned and saddened by his death.
Jamel Snowden counseled the boy at a summer program.
"He's a nice kid, bright kid," said Snowden. "Just sad to see something like that happen."
Investigators spent several hours at the scene on Friday night. But authorities would not say Saturday whether any evidence was seized there, citing the ongoing investigation. DeFazio said the fact that the body was moved before police arrived will play into the investigation.
DeFazio told the Jersey Journal Sunday that an autopsy determined that a single bullet fired from Green-Simms' semiautomatic pistol entered George's chest and exited his back. But further details were not disclosed.
Officers closed off a roughly two-block area around Randolph Avenue while investigators were on scene, but no major traffic problems were reported.