BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: Birmingham detectives are investigating the death of an 11-year-old boy Friday as a homicide. The boy was identified by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office as Nassir Battle.
“Who could do this? I just want to know what happened,” said the victim’s aunt, Zena Battle.
She joined his mother, Lavora Battle, and other family members and friends at the boy’s home Monday.
“He was a nice kid. He was like any other kid. He won spelling bees and math derbies,” said Battle.
She said he was also on the honor roll at Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School. His mother said he played clarinet in the All-State Band.
“He was bright and smart. Every time he came to my house, he was so respectful,” said Janae Bowman, a family friend.
Police said they received a call Friday around 5 p.m. about an unresponsive child in the 800 block of 80th Street South on Friday. When they arrived at the home, they found Nassir Battle in his bed with a shallow pulse.
Birmingham Fire Rescue transported the 11 year old to Children’s Hospital, where he died.
Initially, police labeled it an “unclassified death.”
“It was really revealed in the autopsy. The coroner saw something as it relates to — whether it was trauma to the child or the body — there were some things that they saw that led them to believe this was a homicide,” said Lt. Sean Edwards with the Birmingham Police Department.
Police said the boy was home with an adult male and another small child that day. The man was the boyfriend of Nassir’s mother. Other family members said they had never met him.
He was taken to police headquarters and questioned Friday, but he was not arrested for the homicide. He was arrested for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant.
“The reality is the 11 year old was home with him, so there’s no one else that we’re actually looking at at this moment,” said Edwards.
Police say right now they are focused on conducting a thorough investigation.
“We want to make sure we take our time and be patient, dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’,” said Edwards.
Meanwhile, the family is just trying to make sense of the tragedy.
“He was full of life,” said Zena Battle. “I just don’t know who could have did this. Somebody, please tell if you know anything.”
According to the Birmingham Police Department, East Precinct officers responded to the 800 block of 80th Street South on Friday, March 3 on a unresponsive child call.
Officers found the victim lying on the bed with a shallow pulse. Birmingham Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and transported the victim to Children’s Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.
The victim has been identified as 11 year old Nassir Battle.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was at home with an adult male, who is believed to be the boyfriend of the victim’s mother, and another small child. The boyfriend was taken in for further questioning. The boyfriend was arrested on a previous misdemeanor warrant, but later bonded out.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office ruled the death as a homicide on Saturday, March 4.
We will update you with more information as we receive it.