LAKESIDE, Calif. -- A 10-year-old East County boy accused of stabbing a 12-year-old boy to death is facing murder and felony assault charges, according to the district attorney’s office.
A hearing is scheduled in juvenile court on Thursday at 8 a.m.
Candles, flowers and a teddy bear sat outside the home of the 12-year-old Lakeside victim who was fatally stabbed Monday while visiting a friend.
While family and friends grapple with the loss of Ryan Carter, prosecutors moved ahead with their case.
“The district attorney’s office has charged a juvenile with murder and felony assault in connection with the crime,” prosecutors announced Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan's father, Glen, said the 10-year-old detained after the stabbing was his son’s best friend. He told us it was his understanding that Ryan was breaking up a fight when the stabbing occurred.
“There’s a giant hole where my heart’s supposed to be,” Glen Carter told NBCSanDiego.
San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies found Carter with a stab wound to the chest around 1:30 p.m. Monday on Royal Road in Lakeside.
On Wednesday, Glen Carter spoke about the boy, who was a straight-A student at Foothills Christian School.
“He was the best son in the whole world, a good Christian who always stuck up for the little guy,” he said.
After the slaying, investigators questioned witnesses, including the 10-year-old and his mother, who was home at the time of the stabbing. They also talked with family members of the victim to try to piece together what may have happened.
Neighbors said it all started when the boys were playing a game with toy swords.
Bruce Wheedon said that, because of what he witnessed just after the incident, he doesn't think the 10-year-old boy meant to stab Ryan.
"He looked a little shocked, but kind of like he didn't know what was going on, either," Wheedon said. "Just kind of a blank look and then he just started screaming when they cuffed him up."
Carter, who lived nearby in the Knolls mobile home park, was playing with his friend on a day when both were out of school for the Martin Luther King Day holiday.
In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Carter's parents said the 10-year old accused of the stabbing is "not some monster."
Lisa Carter told the paper the boy was known for having anger issues and said, “Please don’t make it out that he was this terrible human being."
Glen Carter told NBCSanDiego, "At some point we will talk to his mother.”
Right now the family is leaning on their faith to help cope with their loss.
“We feel very blessed that God gave him to us for 12 years,” Ryan's father said. “Without strong faith, I don’t know how someone would get through this.”
Homicide investigators have recovered the knife used in the killing but refused to release details on what type of knife it was or where it was located before the stabbing.
More content from msnbc.com and NBC News
- Serial sperm donor reveals he's a virgin
- Homeless numbers down, but risks rise
- What kids hear at school: 'You're so gay!'
- Unaccustomed to heavy snow, Northwest is pounded
- Jogger: Dogs 'gnawing at my body like I was hamburger'