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A 12-year-old boy accused of escaping from a Florida juvenile facility and breaking into a home before engaging in a shootout with Volusia County sheriff’s deputies made his first court appearance Thursday.
A judge ordered him to be placed in secure detention for 21 days. The boy, who appeared via Zoom and spoke softly when addressed, was assigned a public defender, Fox 25 Orlando reported. His arraignment is scheduled on June 23 at 10:30 a.m. local time.
He and a 14-year-old girl escaped from the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home around 5 p.m. Tuesday before allegedly breaking into a home in Enterprise, Florida, where the two youths found three firearms and 200 rounds of ammunition, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told reporters.
The sheriff’s office on Wednesday released body-camera and aerial footage of the incident.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
“Don’t make me do this! Don’t do this!” one of the deputies is heard saying in the body-camera video.
The two juveniles allegedly fired upon deputies multiple times before the 14-year-old, armed with a shotgun, was ultimately shot and wounded, the sheriff said. Soon afterward, the 12-year-old dropped an AK-47 rifle he was holding and surrendered.
Chitwood said the girl was hospitalized and is stable.
“Deputies did everything they could to deescalate, and they almost lost their lives to a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old,” Chitwood said. “This went on for hours. This wasn’t a split second, we exchange gunfire. We were out here from 7:30 until about 9 p.m. until we returned fire.”
He said that the 14-year-old girl had burned down a children’s home where she had been sent to live in Flagler County, WESH reported.
“I don’t know what to say. Where have we gone wrong that a 12-year-old and 14-year-old think it’s OK to take on law enforcement?” Chitwood added. “What the hell is the Department of Juvenile Justice doing sending them to places that can’t handle them?”
The boy is charged with attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and armed burglary of a dwelling or structure.
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