12-year-old accused of shooting at Volusia deputies appears before judge
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A 12-year-old boy accused of getting into a shootout with Volusia County deputies appeared before a judge on Thursday morning.
The child, who FOX 35 News is choosing not to identify for now, appeared over a Zoom call in court. He and a 14-year-old girl are accused of opening fire at deputies after escaping from the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home Tuesday and trying to break into a house in Enterprise.
Deputies were searching for them because the boy suffers from diabetes.
He is facing charges of armed burglary of a dwelling or structure and attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
PHOTOS: Bullet holes riddle home after kids use AK-47, shotgun in shootout with deputies, sheriff says
The man who owns the home where the shootout happened was able to return to his home today.
He showed FOX 35 one of his cars that was damaged during the shootout. You can see that car in helicopter video from the Sheriff’s Office. The children and deputies were shooting through it during the standoff.
The homeowner said the side of the house where the master bedroom is was severely damaged by the children during the shootout.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the boy told deputies that he and the girl were going to ‘roll like GTA,’ referring to the violent video game Grand Theft Auto. The Sheriff said the boy and girl fired at deputies on at least four occasions.
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"They're living in an alternate universe, these young folks" Chitwood told FOX 35 on Thursday. "If we don't catch them and don't do the right thing, we're putting round pegs into square holes."
The judge ordered the boy to be held in a secure detention center for 21 days or until further order of the court.
His arraignment is set for June 23 at 10:30 a.m. He was assigned a public defender. During Thursday’s virtual court hearing, the boy did not show any emotion. He spoke softly when the judge asked his name and spent most of the hearing looking around.
Sheriff Chitwood said his deputies did everything possible to not open fire on the children, including taking multiple rounds themselves.
"Don’t make me do this! Don’t do this!" one of the deputies can be heard saying on his body camera.
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The Sheriff’s Office said deputies were forced to open fire when the girl came out and pointed a gun at them. A deputy can be heard on body camera as they transition to save the girl’s life.
"Pull it. What’s your name sweetie? Rip it. What’s your name? (girl crying) Come on, come on sweetie, what’s your name?"
At last check, the girl was in critical but stable condition at the hospital. The boy ended up surrendering peacefully. The kids were reportedly using a shotgun and AK-47 during the shootout.
Sheriff Chitwood said the eight deputies involved received immediate counseling right after the shooting and will report to a psychologist.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates.