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Suspect charged in fatal shooting of 9-year-old Ferguson girl

Suspect charged in fatal shooting of 9-year-old Ferguson girl
A Ferguson police officer is overcome with emotion during a candlelight vigil held in honor of Jamyla Bolden, 9, who was shot Aug. 18 as she did her homework. (Michael B. Thomas / Getty Images)

A suburban St. Louis man faces charges in the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl, the Ferguson Police Department said Thursday.

De'Eris Marquan Brown, 21, of O'Fallon, Mo., has been charged with one count of second-degree murder, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and three counts of armed criminal action in the Aug. 18 killing of Jamyla Bolden in Ferguson, Mo.

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Brown was arrested Wednesday afternoon by the U.S. Marshals Service and St. Louis County Police.

A judge set bail Thursday at $750,000, cash only.

Jeff Small, a police spokesman, said the community had come together after the girl's slaying.

"White, black, all races, even folks from all sides of the fences, even people who had been quite outspoken against the Police Department,  I can say that from the moment this crime happened the community came together," Small said. "That cooperation we believe will go a long way beyond this tragedy."

Ferguson has been fractured for more than a year, since a white police officer killed an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, during a confrontation Aug. 9, 2014. The killing set off months of unrest, renewed in November when a St. Louis County grand jury declined to charge Officer Darren Wilson, and again on last month's anniversary of the fatal shooting.

The U.S. Department of Justice also declined to charge Wilson, who is no longer on the force, but issued a devastating report on Ferguson police practices. The department is trying to negotiate a consent decree with the city.

On Thursday, Small called the arrest of De'Eris Brown "good old-fashioned police work." Officers put in more than 300 man-hours and worked around the clock, sifting through more than 100 leads, he said.

Jamyla, a fourth-grader at Koch Elementary School, was shot as she sat on her mother's bed doing homework. Her mother was wounded in the leg but survived.

The girl's teacher, Teressa Kindle, said Jamyla was a very sociable girl.

"She was always wanting to smile and have fun, but she never let that get in the way of her academics and her education," Kindle told the Los Angeles Times.

Jamyla was shot just a few hundred yards from the spot where Michael Brown died.

Twitter: @natalieschachar

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