Police say a young lemonade seller was approached by a teen who stuck a gun in his stomach, demanded money and then fled on foot.
Police are hoping to catch a teenager, who robbed a nine-year-old boy selling lemonade at gunpoint, using DNA and fingerprint tests.
Neighbours have been asked to check their home security cameras.
Officers in Monroe, North Carolina, said the boy was approached by the teenager at about 3pm on Saturday afternoon at the entrance to a development called St John’s Forest.
The teenager stuck a gun in the boy’s stomach, demanded money and fled on foot.
Tony Underwood, from Union County Sheriff’s Office, said a camouflage hat and BB pistol were found with a metal cash box in nearby woods.
The items will be checked for fingerprints and DNA.
The boy, who was selling “organic lemonade” from a stand, said a teenager wearing a similar hat and a black shirt pointed a black handgun at him and snatched his cash box.
“We think we are making positive traction,” Mr Underwood said.
Neighbour Kelly Smith said the robbery was “heart-wrenching”, adding: “That little boy will never be the same.”
She had been intending to buy some lemonade after picking up her daughter from a taekwondo class, but found the boy gone and about half a dozen police cars on her street.
Ms Smith said the boy set up his stand again on Sunday and did brisk business.