A neighbor called police after hearing people yelling that someone had been shot.
The boy had been shot multiple times and was transported to a local hospital for treatment where he is in critical condition.
Michigan State Police troopers had taken a 35-year-old man into custody at the Walmart store off East Court Street in Burton as a potential suspect in the matter, Flint Police Chief Terence Green said.
The man has since been released from custody after investigators spoke with the children inside the home at the time of the shooting.
“The kids weren’t truthful,” said Green. “He definitely wasn’t the one that fired the shot. We don’t think he was there when it happened.”
There were four children — ages 9 to 14 — at the home when the boy was shot, but no adults were present.
When asked if one of the other children had fired the shot, Green commented: “Can’t confirm that at this time.”
He said people have to understand police are dealing with children and they become uneasy in certain situations.
“That’s why some of the misinformation was put out there, because they were afraid,” noted Green. “The investigators did a great job sorting through all that and getting to the truth now.”
Flint police have received assistance from Michigan State Police and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in the incident.
It’s unknown at this time who owns the gun or how the children came into its possession.
“We’re assuming it was located in the house somewhere,” Green said. “We don’t know who the owner is or how exactly they came in possession of it.”
He urged parents to secure their guns, from a gun lock to storing ammunition separate from their firearm, or placing the weapon in a hidden, secure location.
“Especially if kids of this age are going to be left home alone,” said Green. “We have enough gun violence without having to deal with incidents that could have been avoided.”
With an incident and investigation involving a child, Green pointed out there is a “different type of stress” for all those involved.
Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley addressed the situation in its aftermath.
“It is always especially painful to see tragedy strike a child and I know Flint police will do everything in their power to ensure justice is served,” he said in a statement to MLive-The Flint Journal. “I ask all praying people to join with me to give strength to this child and their family.”
The incident remains under investigation.
More on MLive:
11-year-old boy shot multiple times in Flint
Suspect in custody after 11-year-old shot in Flint, boy in critical condition
Jury finds Flint man guilty of killing 70-year-old woman at Burton home