"I need to talk to you," Shawn Smith told cops a few blocks from his Brooklyn residence Saturday. "My brother may be hurt. He might be dead." Police officers soon found the body of Smith's little brother Shimron in a rear courtyard, where the 4-year-old was pronounced dead on the scene, reports the New York Times. The medical examiner later said he died from several blunt force injuries, per NBC New York, and Shawn was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly throwing his sibling from the roof of a seven-story apartment building.
There's no known motive, but police say they have video of Shawn carrying Shimron to the roof, and Yahoo reports that Shawn suffers from schizophrenia. Asked if he wanted to harm his brother, Shawn seemed to grin and said, "Not really." Now the community around Nostrand Avenue between Avenues J and K is trying to comprehend the death of a child described as laughing and running as he went to and from school. "I can't fathom someone taking my child and throwing them off the roof," says Donna Heyward, who helped organize a memorial of candles, cloth flowers, and dolls. "It tears me apart." Shimron's family, including five other children, moved to New York from Guyana last year. (Read more murder stories.)