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Brother: No warning signs from Colorado boy charged in parents' deaths

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Family talks about boy accused of murder
  • NEW: Brother and uncle said they were shocked by incident
  • The 12-year-old suspect's name has not been made public
  • His parents were discovered dead; his sister and brother critically hurt at home
  • The boy called 911 last week to report at least three people shot in his house
  • Colorado
  • Shootings

(CNN) -- The brother and uncle of a 12-year-old Colorado boy charged in the deaths of his parents and the wounding of two siblings said they are baffled by the allegations.

Jacob Long, 25, brother of the suspect, told CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" Wednesday that he had stopped by the family's home shortly before the shootings. Children were running around and people were having a good time, he said.

He left and heard about the incident about 20 minutes later. "It's surreal," Jacob said.

"It's been traumatic for all of us," said Jacob Long, who said he saw no warning signs or trouble within the family. "I'm not real sure what to think yet."

The shootings occurred in Burlington, a town of fewer than 4,000 residents, which is located near the Colorado-Kansas border.

The young boy called 911 on March 1 to report that at least three people in his house had been shot, police said.

Police found the bodies of Charles Long, 50, and his wife, Marilyn Long, 51, in their home, Steve Johnson, assistant director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, told CNN last week. Officers also found two critically wounded children: a 5-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, whom authorities identified as siblings of the boy in custody.

Charles Long's brother, Wally Long, told CNN he visited his nephew after the youth was incarcerated.

"I went to him just to show him, as hard as it was for me to do, that people still loved him," said Wally Long, describing the young suspect as seemingly a "happy kid" before the incident.

Jacob Long said "you couldn't ask for nicer people to be your parents. They were very loving, very outgoing."

District Attorney Bob Watson of the 13th Judicial District filed charges Friday against the boy.

Watson told CNN Wednesday he could not discuss the case or the charges because of a gag order. The juvenile petition is sealed.

At a hearing in Fort Morgan last Thursday, the suspect was told he could face two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his parents, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault for allegedly injuring his siblings.

It is not clear whether the boy will be tried as an adult. The next court hearing is March 14.

A memorial fund has been started to assist the surviving Long children. Custody issues have not been worked out, Wally Long said.

The judge has advised the youth of his rights and ordered him held without bond until his next court appearance.

Authorities have released few details about the investigation. A judge issued the gag order and sealed the records in the case, including warrants, affidavits and the 911 recording. A coroner's report on the cause of death is pending.

Colorado law dictates that charges must be filed initially in juvenile court because of the boy's youth. However, the law does permit the district attorney to request that the case be moved to district court.

CNN's Melanie Whitley and John Branch contributed to this report.

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