|Lee Allan Bonneau, 6, died Wednesday on the Kahkewistahaw First Nation, Sask., under what police call "suspicious" circumstances. (RCMP Handout)
Police believe a boy under the age of 12 beat a six-year-old boy to death on a Saskatchewan First Nation reserve.
Lee Bonneau, 6, was found injured with head trauma outside a recreation centre on the Kahkewistahaw First Nation on Aug. 21. He died in hospital.
Police announced Tuesday they believe another young boy killed him with a weapon "of opportunity" while Lee's foster mother was inside playing bingo.
The suspect's parents weren't nearby at the time.
Police said the children didn't know each other, but witnesses saw boys walking together before the killing.
Lee, who was placed in foster care three weeks prior to his murder, was not from the reserve.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act prevents cops from naming the child suspect or releasing his age.
Cops said the boy has a history of getting into trouble with the police and at school. He was the subject of a criminal investigation in May 2011, Staff Sgt. Larry Brost said.
Some media reports suggest the boy has a history of violence, but police would not confirm this.
The child won't face charges or a trial, but Brost said during a press conference that "there is no other person at this time in the investigation who could be responsible for this crime."
The boy is now in the custody of the Ministry of Social Services, where he is undergoing a psychiatric assessment.
"Our focus right now is on ensuring the child gets the treatment he requires and that the community is safe," said Andrea Brittin, assistant deputy minister of child and family services.
He could potentially remain a ward of the state until he is 20.
"When I think about the tragedy, we lost not just one child — we lost two," said Saskatchewan Social Services Minister June Draude.
Draude said she will ask the province's child advocate to investigate.
"Lee is gone now, but we do know that there are processes in place that maybe should be looked at," Draude said. "If a young person has got tendencies, what else can we be doing?"
The social services department will investigate Lee's foster parents and the suspect's parents, but police said neither family faces criminal charges in the death.
Kahkewistahaw Chief Sheldon Taypota said the tragedy has rocked the small community of 600 people, located 150 km east of Regina.
"We need to be able to work collectively with government agencies to make sure this doesn't happen again," he said.
-- With files from Lisa Mrazek