The West

Nine-year-old dies after playground stabbing: police
Kentwood police investigate a stabbing that occurred in a playground in Pinebrook Village, in Kentwood, Michigan.

A witness has described the moments a 12-year-old boy repeatedly stabbed another child to death at a US playground before calmly calling police.

Police said nine-year-old victim Michael Conner Verkerke died after being stabbed repeatedly by a 12-year-old boy at a playground at a mobile home park in Kentwood, western Michigan.

"The suspect left the playground, then went to a nearby residence where he asked to use the phone. He called police to turn himself in for the incident," police said in a statement.

Glen Stacey, who lives nearby, tells The Grand Rapids Press that the older boy approached him after the stabbing and asked to use his phone. He said the boy called 911 to report the attack. Stacey said he also called police and described the boy as "very calm."

"The only time he raised his voice was when the police came," Stacy said of the boy.

“I just stabbed somebody. Please pick me up,” Stacy said the child told police.

When police arrived, Stacy said they first went to aid the stabbing victim. When officers started heading toward the playground area, he said the boy on Stacy's lawn wanted police to pick him up and yelled "Hello. I'm right here. You're going the wrong way."

Police say a 12-year-old boy has stabbed a 9-year-old boy at the playground in western Michigan, sending the child to a hospital. Police also didn't immediately release detail on the condition of the wounded child. Photo: AP/The Grands Rapid Press.

Police said in a statement that Verkerke ran home and collapsed on the porch after he was stabbed. An ambulance was called, the department said, and he died after being taken to a hospital.

Witnesses told police four children were playing when one of them, for an unknown reason, pulled a knife and stabbed the boy.

Police say the child who stabbed him was brought to a hospital for evaluation before being taken to the Kent County Juvenile Detention Centre pending charges. Police didn't release details about the child, but TV stations WOOD and WZZM report he's a 12-year-old.

An autopsy is planned by the Kent County Medical Examiner's Office.

Morning news break – August 6

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