MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CNN) -- A Tennessee mother admitted to beating and choking her 10-year-old son, but she said he was the one who grabbed a kitchen knife and fatally stabbed himself.
“My heart is hurting from that because I used to see him all the time,” said Traimaine King, one of the neighbors.
Neighbors say what happened to 10-year-old Jaheem Mckenzie was tragic. He died over the weekend.
“It touched my heart,” King said.
According to police, his mom said he got so angry then went inside the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed himself in his chest.
Minutes before, police say his mom confessed to choking him, then beating him with an extension cord.
It all happened at their Frayser Apartment Saturday.
“It's very sad,” King said. “When I say it's very sad, I see this young man every day. I see him playing with the kids.”
His mom, Robin Mckinzie, is charged with aggravated child abuse and endangerment. She is not being charged in his death.
Jaheem was a 4th grader at Cornerstone Denver Prep.
Many parents say this is a wake-up call.
“This right here makes me have a strong hold, more of a strong hold, on my daughter,” King said.
But it also begs the question; did his mom go too far with corporal punishment? It depends on who you ask.
“I ain't gonna tell a lie like he bad, because he is,” King said. “But he bad like any boy would be at his age. So, therefore, she didn't mean no harm in it."
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