Update: We still don't know the specifics about what happened in the murders of Charles and Marilyn Long, and the severe wounding of two of their children, allegedly by their twelve-year-old son -- nor do we know whether he'll be accused as an adult. But with the release of charging documents in the case, we've learned that he faces nine extraordinarily serious counts.
The five-feet-tall, 75 pound boy has been hit with two charges of first-degree murder, two attempted first-degree murder counts, three first-degree assault beefs and two allegations connected to his status as an accused aggravated juvenile offender.
The first-degree aspect of the counts means authorities believe the attacks were premeditated -- a factor that definitely could come into play if the decision is made to charge him as an adult. So, too, could his choice of weapons: a knife in the case of his little sister, a gun and a knife in relation to his younger brother.
Look below to see a 9News report about this development, followed by our previous coverage.
Update, 7:08 a.m. March 10: The murder of Charles and Marilyn Long, allegedly by their twelve-year-old son, and the serious wounding of two of the boy's younger siblings, received their brightest national spotlight to date last night, when Jacob Long, the eldest brother in the family, and uncle Wally Long, spoke with CNN's Piers Morgan. Horrible, unconfirmed rumors about the specifics of the attack continue to swirl, but the focus of the conversation was on still-raw emotions.
In some ways, Morgan was not the ideal person to conduct the interview. His attempts to show compassionate, as opposed to his usual snark, were manifested mostly in an expression that suggested he'd just sucked a lemon. But Jacob and Wally were too shell-shocked to notice. Jacob said he'd been at the home up until ten minutes or so prior to the murder and saw no indication of anything awry, and Wally portrayed the boy as a normal kid during visits (he lives in Missouri). He also talked about a jailhouse visit with the youngster, intended to convey love despite the hideous acts that allegedly took place.
As for the possibility that the boy might become one of if not the single youngest Coloradan ever charged with murder as an adult, Wally admitted to being too conflicted to offer an opinion.
See the interview below, followed by our earlier coverage:
Update, 7:04 a.m. March 3: When a twelve-year-old called Burlington police to report a shooting, officers may well have suspected that either an adult inside the home or outside parties had been responsible. But no: Authorities now believe the tween was responsible for the death of his parents, Charles and Marilyn Long, and the serious wounding of two siblings, ages five and nine.
According to 9News, both the wounded children are expected to live, with the five-year-old girl off a respirator and talking and the nine-year-old boy still sedated. He was reportedly shot twice.
Due to the level of carnage, speculation immediately focused upon whether the shooter could be charged as an adult. That's not a call 13th Judicial District DA Bob Watson can make under Colorado law for any suspect south of fourteen. And while it's technically possible for the juvenile court system to make such a determination, the odds of that actually happening are probably small.
Mourners at a candlelight vigil last night portrayed the Longs as loving and responsible parents. The Denver Post notes that they were deeply religious members of a Seventh-Day Adventist prayer group, with Charles, a guitarist and unicyclist, extolling the Bible and Ted Nugent on an old Facebook page. In the meantime, the shooter's motives remain unknown, with a brief court appearance by the boy last night shedding little light on a startling tragedy.
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Look below to see a Denver Post video featuring a press conference about the killings, followed by a 9News report about last night's vigil featuring reaction from community members.