Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said Wednesday that no charges will be filed in the shooting death of Roy’Ale Spencer.
Wichita Police were called to the Stonegate Mobile Home Park in the 2200 block of East MacArthur at 8:26 a.m. on January 21st of this year. When they arrived, they found 9-year-old Spencer in the bedroom of a trailer home.
Spencer was pronounced dead at the scene. Inside the home at the time were a 16-year-old female, a 14-year-old female, and Spencer’s 16-year-old brother.
An 11-year-old boy had run away from the home after the shooting and was found by police at the entrance of the mobile home park about one hour later. He was wearing only shorts and carrying a blanket.
All four children were taken to city hall to be interviewed by detectives. An adult man and woman who lived at the home had already left for work that day around 4 a.m. They were also interviewed by detectives.
In the District Attorney’s report, he laid out a timeline of what transpired inside the home:
A firefighter who responded to the scene told police who responded that when he arrived, Spencer was on a bed in the bedroom with a young woman performing CPR on him. He told investigators he saw 3 long guns in the bedroom, two of which appeared to be BB guns, with a third appearing to be real.
One of the BB guns was underneath Spencer’s legs, the other BB gun was standing in the threshold of the closet, while what appeared to be a real gun laying on the bed. He reported seeing the gun on the bed when he arrived.
Later, when being interviewed by detectives, the firefighter admitted that one of the BB guns was resting against the bed next to Spencer with its stock on the floor and the gun pointed it. He then moved it to the closet out of the the way.
Inside the bedroom, officers located a metal gun safe and three long guns identified as a Crossman 788 BB Scout, a Crossman model 760 pellet rifle, and a Harrington and Richardson Model 88 Topper 410 gauge, single shot (breech loading/break action) shotgun. The guns were processed by a crime scene analyst but no clean fingerprints were able to be lifted according to the DA’s report.
Loose BB’s were found on the bed next to Spencer’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS and his body was later removed from the home by the coroner’s office.
All three children were interviewed by detectives and gave the following account of what happened:
The 14-year-old girl reported that the 11-year-old boy who lived at the home came into her room and told her that Roy’Ale had accidentally shot himself. She and Roy’Ale’s brother went to the room and found him on his back on the bed.
The brother dialed 911 and handed to phone to her. At the direction of the 911 dispatcher, she straightened Spencer’s legs out and began performing CPR.
The adult female was then contacted to return to the trailer. She said the 11-year-old left the trailer because he was scared.
She told investigators that the two were friends who got along well. She also said she couldn’t remember anyone getting into the gun safe in the master bedroom in several years.
While being transported to city hall by a police officer, the 16-year-old girl told the officer the following:
She was in bed when she heard a noise. She went into the master bedroom and found the 11-year-old in the room with Roy’Ale Spencer, who she said was on the floor.
She said the 11-year-old told her, “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to do it. I am so sorry.” She said the 11-year-old then left the home wearing only shorts and carrying a blanket.
When she was interviewed by detectives, she stated that she was woken up by a loud noise and then heard the 11-year-old enter the 14-year-old girl’s room and then heard her yelling, “Oh my god. Oh my God.” She then said she heard the 14-year-old say the 11-year-old boy had “accidentally shot Roy’Ale in the face.”
She told detectives that she did not hear any arguing prior to the loud noise and the the 11-year-old and Roy’Ale were good friends who got along well.
Roy’Ale’s 16-year-old brother told detectives he was woken up by the 11-year-old telling him that Roy’Ale had shot himself with a gun. He says he and the 14-year-old girl went into the room and found Roy’Ale on the bed with a bleeding wound to his face and a gun on the bed.
He then called 911. He said the 11-year-old asked him if police would check to see who touched the gun. When he replied yes, the 11-year-old told him that he had picked up the gun and placed it on the bed.
The 11-year-old was interviewed by detectives who learned that the boys had gotten what they believed to be BB guns out of the safe and had checked them to see if they were loaded by shaking them prior to playing with them. The DA’s report says the 11-year-old reportedly pulled the trigger of the gun, striking Royale, leading to his death.
The adult male who owned the safe told investigators that while the safe was locked, the mechanism of the lock was damaged and could be opened with more than one type of key.
In his report Bennett said several inaccuracies had been alleged publicly that were not true, including that Spencer was shot in the back, the gun had been placed on top of his chest, that prints were wiped clean from the gun, and that the 11-year-old disappeared for two hours and was later found with his father. Bennett said none of those allegations are true.