Man Yells ‘It’s the End of the World’ Before Allegedly Killing 11-Year-Old Boy in Random Shooting
Benjamin Poirier, 44, now faces charges of first- and second-degree murder
An 11-year-old Idaho boy died following a spray of bullets randomly targeting his family’s mobile home by a stranger who allegedly yelled “this is the end of the world!” before he opened fire with a high-powered rifle.
“He was the sweetest, most polite little boy who always said ‘yes sir, no sir,” Jon Dufresne, who owns the mobile home park in Horsehoe Bend, told KTVB. “Soft-spoken. Gentle. This family was absolutely one of the nicest families I know of.”
Chief Deputy Steve Dorau confirmed the Sunday night shooting to PEOPLE.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in this incident,” the department posted on its Facebook page.
According to Boise County prosecutor Adam Strong, the suspect observed the boy’s family at a gas station and then followed the family into the mobile home community around 10:25 p.m., where he shot multiple times at the family’s home with them inside, reports KTVB.
Strong said the attack appeared random.
“That’s almost the scariest kind, because we don’t have any kind of provocation or anything else that we know of at this time,” he told the outlet.
Officials did not identify the boy or his family.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
The sheriff’s office identified the suspect as 44-year-old Benjamin Poirier, of Emmett, who was ordered held in the Ada County jail without bond during a video court appearance on Monday. He has been charged with one count each of first- and second-degree murder.
Poirier’s attorney was not immediately named.
“Just an outsider — not from town, doesn’t know anybody in the park, just chose this place,” Dufresne told KTVB. “[He] left his car down the road, walked around with a gun shouting ‘it’s the end of the world,’ ‘it’s time to die,’ things like that.”
A resident of the community, Bob Drake, said a sheriff’s deputy who quickly responded was able to wrestle the shooter to the ground aided by another resident, reports KTVB.
Dufresne said the boy was enrolled in fifth grade, and his family had lived in the small community for about three years.
No others were injured in the shooting.
Said prosecutor Strong: “As a father, I can’t even imagine going through something like this with losing a child at such a young age under such unfortunate circumstances.”