Crime

Brother charged with manslaughter in shooting death of 6-year-old

Gulfport police gather at a home in the 3600 block of Sabine Street on Friday after a 6-year-old boy was shot in the stomach.
Gulfport police gather at a home in the 3600 block of Sabine Street on Friday after a 6-year-old boy was shot in the stomach. jmitchell@sunherald.com

A teen brother has been arrested in connection to the death of a 6-year-old shot in Gulfport on Friday night.

Gulfport police Sgt. Joshua Bromen released new information Saturday morning identifying the shooter as Albert Deonta Craft III, 16, who is the brother of victim Zaylan Sparkman.

The investigation revealed Craft discharged a handgun with a single round striking Sparkman, Bromen said. Craft was taken into custody on a charge of manslaughter and transported to Harrison County jail. He is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Sparkman was pronounced dead at 7:12 p.m. in the emergency room of Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said.

Bromen said police received a call around 6 p.m., and officers arrived at the 3600 block of Sabine Street to find Sparkman shot in the stomach. Neighbors at the scene reported not hearing any gun shots.

Bromen wouldn’t say the shooting was accidental, but he said there was no dispute between Craft and Sparkman.

“If this had been a dispute, or there had been any type of intent, there would have been a murder charge,” Bromen said.

Bromen said Gulfport police are still investigating the cause of the shooting.

Yolanda Cruz: 228-896-2340, @yolie.cruz93

Staff writer Jeff Clark contributed to this report.

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