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Police identify 9-year-old shot, killed in Kalamazoo

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Posted at 1:02 PM, Jun 28, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The 9-year-old boy shot and killed at a Kalamazoo home last week has been identified by police as Carl Atkins.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety released the name of the child Monday afternoon.

Police say Atkins was shot at his home near Lake and James streets Thursday afternoon and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police have not released details on what led up to this death, but investigators have been presented with two versions of what took place, according to a Kalamazoo Circuit Court Referee.

"One is that it was an accident and there was some cover-up. Two is there was somebody who maliciously hurt the child," said Kalamazoo Circuit Court Referee Denise Noble.

RELATED: KDPS: Deadly shooting of 9-year-old boy likely accidental

Since then, the state has taken custody of the 9-year-old boy’s six siblings who also lived in the home.

A seventh child who also lived at the home was placed in the father's custody.

"There is a substantial risk of harm, except for essence remain in the home of the parents at this time," said Noble.

MORE: KDPS: 9-year-old shot, killed in Kalamazoo

Atkins reportedly lived at the home with his mother and seven siblings, four girls and three boys with ages ranging from seven months to 17 years old.

Atkins would have turned 10 years old on August 9.

Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Getting said no decision has been made regarding criminal charges.

“The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding this child’s tragic death.

The initial investigation uncovered other information that separately justified the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services filing a Neglect/Abuse Petition in Family Court in order to protect the other children who were living in the home. That Petition has since been authorized by the Court and is pending further hearing. The children have been temporarily removed from their mother’s care while the case proceeds. The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will continue to represent the State in the Neglect/Abuse action.

At this time no decision has been made regarding possible criminal charges. Until we are certain of the facts surrounding the gun that was used, and how it came to be used in the death of this child, we can’t make that determination.”

Investigators have not said who pulled the trigger, and whether they believe Atkins was intentionally shot.

In the family court hearing on Friday, the mother, Consuela Johnson, was granted supervised visitation time with the children.

Eight attorneys were also present to represent the children's six fathers.

"This is a tragic event and we will be treating it as seriously as it deserves," said Noble.

The custody case is scheduled to return to court on August 5, 2021.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said the shooting is still under investigation.