Expert weighs in on 11-year-old accused of killing teen, injuring father

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Family members and experts are left with more questions than answers after an 11-year-old was charged with murder for allegedly killing a teenager and critically injuring his father.

WREG spoke with a clinical psychologist to find out what could have been the motive and whether anything could’ve been done to prevent the death of 14-year-old David Fulton Vongphachanh,  who was found shot along with his father in a Frayser home last Wednesday.

Psychologist Charlotte Freeman has no ties to this case, but has worked with children as young as 3 years old.

“In a case like this, we’re really looking at, what are all the psychosocial factors and whether or not there may be any biological issues or neurological issues that may have contributed to what’s going on with this particular child,” Freeman said.

She says there are many layers in answering the questions, because children that age are in a transition period where they’re finding themselves.

“I would want to talk to him about what the challenges he was facing as a middle school student,” Freeman said.

She says they’re finding some disorders in younger children, but many times it has to do with the normal society changes, and children adjusting.

The child that police believe was responsible for the shooting was also charged with theft. The victim’s grandmother said a cellphone and Xbox were missing, and she believed the boy was responsible.

“He had access to a gun,” Freeman said. “Where did that access come from?”

Freeman said it’s important for parents to closely supervise their children, but recognize that “even as you do talk with them, there will be some children who, no matter what, are going to hide from you.”

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