Cops: Florida Boy, 11, Shot Two 13-Year-Olds

Witnesses said boy was being bullied at football practice
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2023 5:10 PM CDT

Two 13-year-old boys in Florida were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, and an 11-year-old boy was charged with attempted second-degree murder over a dispute that some witnesses said started with a bag of chips. Mike McKinley, the chief of police in the Orlando suburb of Apopka, says the 11-year-old ran to his mother's car and retrieved the gun after an altercation with the two teens at football practice Monday night, WESH reports. Some witnesses said the 13-year-olds had been bullying the younger boy and food had been slapped from his hands.

According to an arrest affidavit, surveillance video shows one of the teens chasing the 11-year-old toward his mother's SUV, but he was stopped by a bystander who sought to break up the fight, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The 11-year-old then ran up and fired a single shot that injured both teens, according to the affidavit. Police said one 13-year-old was shot in the back and the bullet grazed the arm of the other teen. McKinley said it's a "shame" that juveniles are "ruining their lives" by trying to use firearms to solve their problems. "No one wants to arrest an 11-year-old by any means," the chief said.

The chief said the gun was kept in an unsecured box in the mother's car, and authorities will be pursuing charges against her, Fox 35 reports. She was in the driver's seat when the boy entered the vehicle but apparently didn't notice him taking the gun. Asked why the 11-year-old was charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder when two teens were shot, McKinley said a court could separate the charges, but he doesn't think there is a need to "stack on charges on an 11-year-old child that has no criminal history." The boy is being held at a juvenile detention center. (Read more Florida stories.)

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