( dpa ) - British justice officials late Monday brought murder charges against a 17-year-old boy in the brutal killing of 11- year- old schoolboy Rhys Jones in Liverpool last August.
The charges were filed a day after British police arrested 12 people, including four who were questioned on suspicion of murder.
The 11-year-old was shot dead on August 22, 2007, as he crossed a pub car park on his return from a football match in the Croxteth neighbourhood.
The filing of charges represented a breakthrough in the investigation, which has seen a number of suspects arrested but none formally charged.
In addition to the murder charges, police said that two men, aged 24 and 25, and two youths were charged with assisting an offender.
One of the youths was also charged with possession of a firearm.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly, paid tribute to Rhys' parents Stephen, 45, and Melanie, 42, for their support and patience throughout the investigation.
"They have shown courage, strength and dignity during what must ave been a truly terrible time for them," he said.
The 12 arrests on Tuesday in dawn raids in Liverpool, north-west Britain, included nine men and three women, aged between 16 and 54. All those questioned by police Tuesday lived in the neighbourhood of Croxteth where Rhys was shot.
Before the latest development, up to 20 people were arrested and questioned by police, but freed on bail later.
In the weeks following the shooting, detectives said they faced a "wall of silence" from the local community, many of whom were probably afraid to come forward.