The man accused of stabbing his 12-year-old brother to death said he did it because he "just felt like killing," a Phoenix police spokesman said Thursday morning.
Police found 27-year-old Andrew Ward at a convenience store with blood on his hands and clothing and a knife in his pants pocket Wednesday evening, said Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos.
Ward was held while other officers went to the family home in a nearby neighborhood in the area of 35th Avenue and Deer Valley and found the body of Ward's brother, Austin Tapia, with multiple stab wounds, Martos said.
Austin was a sixth-grade student at Paseo Hills School, the first kindergarten through eighth-grade school to open in the Deer Valley Unified School District.
"It is with my deepest regret to inform you that sixth grader Austin Tapia passed away yesterday," Principal Trevor Ettenborough wrote in a statement to parents and guardians.
"He was deeply loved by his Paseo Hills family. His infectious smile and caring attitude will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," Ettenborough wrote.
Ettenborough said a team of counselors would be at the school throughout Thursday to help students through the grieving process.
"It will be important for you to talk with your child tonight about today's events," Ettenborough wrote.
Martos said the suspect had called police from a nearby convenience store just before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and told them he had stabbed someone.
At first, Ward didn't want to tell the dispatcher what the emergency was or how he was related to the victim, according to a court document.
Their mother and their two sisters, ages 14 and 19, said they went to dinner and had invited Austin, who declined to go and was left alone at the house, Martos said.
The women said they saw Ward walking to the home as they left for dinner, and when they returned after dinner they were met by Phoenix police and told of the crime, Martos said.
A clerk, who spoke to CBS 5 News off-camera, said the suspect was covered in blood and appeared "out of it."
Family members said Ward had a history of violence and substance abuse, and police said Ward told them nothing happened between the two that led to the stabbing.
Detectives said Ward's description of the incident was consistent with the evidence, and when he was asked why he did it, he simply said, "Honestly, I just felt like killing," Martos said.
Ward was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and child abuse, Martos said.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.
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