Alleged gang member charged in death of 12-year-old accidentally shot by 5-year-old

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — Police have arrested a man in connection with the death of a 12-year-old who was accidentally shot by his 5-year-old brother.

The Griffin Police Department arrested 21-year-old Octavious Lyons and charged him with involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and several drug and weapons charges.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach attended a news conference Friday morning that police held to announce the arrest. Police said Lyons is a suspected member of Crips street gang.

“I want to send a very clear message right now, that the drug activity and gang activity that gave rise to this, we are highly motivated to put an end to it," Griffin Police chief Michael Yates said. "If you’re engaged in that kind of behavior here in Griffin, you better stop, go somewhere else, or do everything we can to send you to prison for the rest of your life.”


Police said the 12-year-old was playing with his younger brothers Saturday in a wooded area, where he and his 5-year-old brother found a handgun.

The younger brother thought it was a toy, pulled the trigger and accidentally shot the 12-year-old. After they investigated, police later connected the gun to a crime from a couple of hours earlier.

Officers said a car full of suspects ran from a traffic stop. The driver was caught and officers found drugs tossed into the woods but never a gun.

“They actually encountered the driver of the car they fled from later," Yates said. "hH provided leads to work to identify who those other persons were.”

Investigators determined Lyons abandoned the gun during the chase. Police arrested Lyons on Friday morning and found more guns, ammunition and drugs, which could lead to more charges.

Lyons is scheduled to have his first appearance in a virtual court hearing Saturday.