( AFP ) - A 17-year-old youth was charged Wednesday with the murder of an 11-year-old boy and four others were charged in connection with the crime, British police announced.
Rhys Jones was shot dead on August 22 near a pub in Liverpool as he returned from a football match, in a case which generated intense debate in Britain about the increase in youth gun crime.
"A 17-year-old youth has been charged with the murder of Rhys Jones," Helen Morris from the Crown Prosecution Service told a press conference.
Two men aged 24 and 25 and two youths were charged with assisting an offender. One of the youths was also charged with possessing a firearm.
Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly, the senior investigating officer, paid tribute to Jones' parents.
"It has been a complicated inquiry which is reflected in the number of charges," he said.
"I would personally like to thank Stephen and Melanie Jones for their support and patience throughout this investigation.
"They have shown courage, strength and dignity during what must have been a truly terrible time for them."
Police arrested 12 people in dawn raids Tuesday as part of an investigation into the killing. The raids involved over 100 police officers and took place in the Croxteth area of Liverpool, where Jones was shot dead.