Two Florida kids, a 12-year-old boy, and a 14-year-old girl, allegedly shot at deputies after running away from a group home. The incident took place in the town of Enterprise in Volusia County after the pair ran away from Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, a juvenile home for troubled children.
The children fired at multiple deputies on Tuesday night after breaking into a home, using the homeowner’s shotgun and AK-47. The Volusia Sheriff, Chitwood, said the assault on law enforcement officers by two armed children was “something I’ve never seen in 35 years in policing.” He explained that the officers, who had surrounded the home, had nowhere to hide except behind trees during the shooting.
The 14-year-old girl was shot and suffered life-threatening injuries. During the shooting, she exited through the garage and pointed the shotgun at deputies on two occasions, according to the sheriff’s office. Combined, the Florida kids shot at deputies “on four separate occasions”.
The girl was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital after being shot by deputies. She is currently stable, according to a statement made by WESH 2 News early Wednesday morning.
The boy, armed with the AK-47, dropped his weapon when he saw the 14-year-old girl was shot. The younger boy was taken to the hospital because of a diabetic condition. However, he was uninjured in the incident. No deputies were injured during the firefight. “Deputies did everything they could tonight to de-escalate and they almost lost their lives,” Chitwood said.
In a statement, Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that “eventually, after all this goes on and we try to de-escalate — we throw a cellphone into the house, try to talk to them — the 14-year-old comes out of the garage with a pump shotgun, levels it at deputies and, despite warnings to drop it, she walks back into the garage, she comes back a second time and that’s when deputies open fire after taking multiple rounds.”
The sheriff’s department explained that the two Florida kids had run away from their group home and were reported missing at 5 p.m and the break-in was reported nearly two and half hours later. The deputies on call were searching for the kids when they turned attention to the home following an interaction with a witness who flagged them down, telling police that they heard glass breaking at a house nearby.
Kitwana McTyer, president and CEO of Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, called the incident “tragic” and said it is “the result of the system failing our children.”
In their statement, the CEO said, “these children are in desperate need of care in the appropriate setting, which is a higher level of care than we provide.”