A 12-year-old boy has been charged with manslaughter after his 16-year-old brother was fatally shot in the head in a Montreal suburb of Dorval, Que.

The boy, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was also charged with illegal possession of a loaded, prohibited weapon. He briefly appeared in court Tuesday afternoon, his parents watching from the benches.

The manslaughter charge has shocked those who know the family. Neighbours described the boys as polite and helpful.

“The family is such a sweet family,” said one neighour said. “It’s incomprehensible to see that there would be a firearm in that house.”

The 12-year-old made a call to police around dinner time on Monday. The boys were alone in the house.

Police found the older brother shot in the head at 5:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“You have to understand that since it’s a violent death this investigation was transferred to the major crimes division,” said Daniel Lacoursiere of the Montreal police.

The 12-year-old suspect was arrested at his home and questioned by police until 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. His mother was with him during the questioning.

He is expected to appear in court again on Friday for a bail hearing.

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin and files from The Canadian Press