APOPKA, Florida (WJW) – An 11-year-old boy in Florida has been charged with attempted murder after shooting and injuring two 13-year-olds during a dispute on a football field.
Apopka police say additional charges may be filed against the adults responsible for leaving the unlocked gun accessible to children.
Apopka Police Chief Mike McKinley held a press conference Wednesday.
According to Chief McKinley, the incident occurred at a recreation complex Tuesday night.
A physical altercation between three boys escalated in the parking lot, where the 11-year-old allegedly retrieved a gun from his mother’s car. Surveillance footage showed the two 13-year-olds attempting to flee, but before they could escape, the boy fired a single shot, injuring both victims.
One of the 13-year-olds was hit in the arm and has since been released from the hospital, while the other underwent surgery for a torso injury and was reported to be in stable condition.
“We shouldn’t have 11-year-olds that have access to guns and think that they can resolve a dispute with a firearm. As a society, we need to reflect on this,” Chief McKinley said.
The 11-year-old has been booked into the Juvenile Assessment Center and currently faces one count of attempted second-degree murder for the double-shooting.
Chief McKinley revealed that the firearm was registered but stored in an unsecured box, which is considered a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.
He urged all parents to ensure their firearms are securely stored.
“It only takes one bad decision in a split second to ruin their lives,” he said.
Under Florida law, the age of criminal responsibility is 16, and there are no exceptions for children under 14. Consequently, the 11-year-old will not be tried as an adult.