Five children between the ages of 12 and 16 are facing criminal homicide charges after they were accused of fatally shooting a Nashville musician outside his home Thursday afternoon.
The young suspects allegedly shot and killed 24-year-old Kyle Yorlets after he refused to give them the keys to his car, police said.
Investigators said the incident happened in an alley behind Yorlets’ home. The children were allegedly in a stolen Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck when they saw Yorlets and took his wallet, according to a press release from the Metro Nashville Police Department.
Police believe the children— three girls and two boys ― demanded the keys from Yorlets, adding that the musician was fatally shot after he refused.
“He’s an absolute, absolute innocent victim,” Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told the Tennessean newspaper Friday morning.
Although police said the suspects all knew each other, the exact connection hasn’t been released.
After Yorlets was shot, he managed to make it back inside his home, where he was found by a housemate. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to BuzzFeed.
According to the press release, officers found the pickup truck a short time later. Another stolen vehicle allegedly used by the children, a Hyundai Santa Fe, was also recovered.
The children were all taken to a juvenile justice center where they were charged, according to WSMV TV.
Prosecutors told the court on Friday that they want to try the underage suspects as adults, according to the Tennessean.
The attorney representing the 12-year-old girl argued in court that she should not be charged as an adult, in part because she cooperated with police after her arrest.
However, Assistant District Attorney Stacy Miller disagreed, saying the girl didn’t run from the crime scene or call the police.
During Friday’s hearing, it was revealed that all five children were runaways and already on police’s radar, according to WSMV.
Yorlets, originally from Pennsylvania, was a member of a local Tennesee band, Carverton.
On Friday, the band posted a tribute to him on its Facebook page:
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to raise money for funeral arrangements as well as airfare, lodging and other travel expenses for Yorlets’ family, who are dairy farmers in Pennsylvania, according to AOL.com.