A 5-year-old boy died Wednesday after his twin brother reportedly stabbed him in the back with a kitchen knife.

Ashley Keehn, public information officer for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies were dispatched to a report of a stabbing at a home in unincorporated Scotts Valley just before 4pm.

The first arriving deputies learned that 5-year-old twin boys were fighting, “as siblings sometimes do,” Keehn said.

During the tangle, one of the boys got a small kitchen knife and stabbed his brother, according to investigators.

Despite lifesaving efforts by deputies, emergency personnel and hospital staff, the 5-year-old died at the hospital.

“In coordination with the District Attorney’s Office and in light of all circumstances discovered by our investigators, no charges will be filed against anyone involved,” Keehn said. 

California law dictates that age, criminal intent and knowledge of wrongfulness are factors needed to charge a child with a crime. 

“Based on the current investigation, there is no indication of negligence or criminal activity by any other party,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “We are heartbroken for the family of these two young children and share in their grief.”

In light of the family’s privacy, no further information has been released.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


  1. I think violence on TV and video games incites this type of behavior. In my family of 5 kids, we sometimes got into it, but never ever even considered using a knife to attack our siblings. Nor did my kids. I just can’t fathom what was in this kid’s mind to get a knife and stab his brother.

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