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Police: 2nd man charged in death of 11-year-old girl

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ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — A second man has been arrested in connection to the shooting death of an 11-year-old South Carolina girl last year, authorities said.

Desmond Bruton, 21, was charged Thursday with murder, four counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, news outlets reported.

Burton was being held at the Spartanburg County jail on an unrelated armed robbery charge. He was taken to Anderson County jail Thursday.

Bruton is the second person to be charged in the June 2019 death of Ja’Naiya Scott. Stephen Braden Powell, 18, was charged with the same crimes in July 2019.

Anderson Police Chief Jim Stewart said Ja’Naiya’s home was shot at more than 35 times on June 23, 2019, fatally striking the girl in the shoulder.

Ja’Naiya’s older sister and cousin were wounded in the shooting. They have since recovered.

A pistol and a semi-automatic rifle were used in the shooting, prompting Stewart to believe two people were involved in the shooting. A motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately released.

Bruton was denied bail Thursday. During the hearing, Bruton said he didn’t know why he was being charged.

“I don’t know this family,” Bruton said. “I’m just as confused as everybody else.”

It’s unclear how Bruton and Powell may be connected. It’s also unclear whether Bruton had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Ja’Naiya’s death moved Miami Dolphins defensive end Shaq Lawson to pay for her funeral.

Lawson grew up in South Carolina and played football at Clemson University before being drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft to the Buffalo Bills. He said he read reports about the shooting and felt compelled to contact the family. Lawson said his sister was around the same age as Ja’Naiya.

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