Porsha Avery tried to imagine a 13-year-old girl, someone just like herself, charged with murder.
At first, it was inconceivable, but then she reconsidered, based on her surroundings: a decrepit apartment complex in a blighted South Memphis neighborhood.
"Yeah," Porsha said Tuesday afternoon outside the Latham Heights apartments, "In this case, I can."
According to police, 13-year-old Terrica Yarber stabbed 18-year-old Otisa McGaha to death Monday night in the courtyard of the apartment complex in the 1400 block of Latham.
She was charged with second-degree murder Tuesday afternoon, becoming one of the youngest female murder suspects in recent Memphis history.
"That is unusual. I can't remember the last time I've seen a 13-year-old female charged with murder," said Barry Mitchell, chief probation officer for Shelby County Juvenile Court. "That'd be young for a boy to be charged with."
In 1992, police charged 15-year-old Trevonne Jones with second-degree murder for stabbing Felicia Taylor, 18, to death with a steak knife.
Two years later, Erica Nelms, also 15, was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Ray Burnett.
Police weren't saying much Tuesday about McGaha's death, but neighbors weren't as tight-lipped.
Sisters Ruby Elder and Mary McGee were sitting on their porch directly across Latham when the argument broke out
in the courtyard, tucked behind a fence topped with razor wire.
"They were arguing for two or three hours," Elder said. "They kept it up. They'd go in and come back out."
Then, the situation escalated, Elder said, when someone broke an apartment window.
"I saw two females start a fight. And then all of a sudden there was a bunch of people," she said.
That was when Elder said she heard two or three gunshots, followed by several more.
Police and paramedics arrived a few minutes later, taking McGaha away on a stretcher. She died a few hours later.
Resident Darmarvis Lee said McGaha tried to break up the fighting.
"She tried to stop it," said Lee, adding that McGaha was his brother's girlfriend, "and one of the girls all of a sudden just stuck a knife in her chest."
Tuesday afternoon, grieving friends and family had already pinned teddy bears and a stuffed Scooby Doo to a telephone pole in the courtyard. Someone else left a few roses by the pole.
Nearby, tacked to a wall, were two signs.
One was a list of apartment rules, with the last being, "Absolutely no fighting."
The other said, "Not responsible for kids in this area."