updated 3/16/2007 12:46:13 PM ET 2007-03-16T16:46:13

A masked 14-year-old gang member and several other youths cornered a man they suspected of painting over their gang's graffiti, and the boy then shot the man and killed a 13-year-old bystander, police say.

The eighth-grader known as "Little Capone" was charged as an adult Thursday with first-degree murder, attempted murder and possessing a firearm in a felony. Conviction on the murder charge carries an automatic penalty of life in prison without parole.

About 3 a.m. on Feb. 11, Caleb Sosa and two or three other young gang members set out to punish the 19-year-old for painting over their gang's graffiti on buildings, police said. They said the man fled to a friend's house, where Sosa shot and wounded him.

Christian Sanchez, 13, opened the door, and Sosa shot him in the head with the semiautomatic pistol, killing him instantly, police said.

Sosa is being held without bond at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility and is to return to 36th District Court for a preliminary examination March 22.

Sosa attended Earhart Middle School and has no criminal record but says he has long been involved with a gang, police told the Detroit Free Press.

Defense lawyer Lillian Diallo declined comment after the hearing.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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