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Small town has first murder in 25 years — and 12-year-old is the prime suspect

by Ellen Killoran

Christina Shockley was found shot to death at the convenience store where she worked

A small Arkansas town saw its first homicide in 25 years, and a 12-year-old boy is believed to be responsible.

The boy, whose name has not been released because he is a minor, was charged with capital murder in connection to the shooting death of Christa Shockley, a 21-year-old local woman.

Shockley was found shot dead near the entrance of a convenience store where she worked in Fouke, Arkansas — one of two jobs she held down in addition to pursuing her college degree. According to the Texarkana Gazette, a newspaper delivery man found Shockley at around 2 a.m. last Thursday morning. The man who found her told the newspaper she was lying face up, and that he did not observe any signs of struggle.

The boy was arrested later that day, and the gun he allegedly used to shoot her was recovered. According to the Texarkana Gazette, police worked with convenience store employees to identify a suspect.

There is yet no known motive for the crime.

“Everyone that has come in contact with this case has just been in shock,” Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black told The Washington Post. “It’s not normal for there to be a violent crime in Fouke, Ark., and at the hands of a 12-year-old, it’s even more shocking.”

Fouke’s Mayor Terry Purvis also expressed his disbelief to The Washington Post. “Even if we knew exactly what happened, even if we knew the motive, even if we knew everything that went down, I don’t know how anybody could ever understand what happened because of the age of the suspect.”

The suspect is currently being held in a juvenile detention center. In Arkansas, juveniles under the age of 14 cannot be charged with felonies as an adult.

 

Photo: Facebook/Christa Shockley

 

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."