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3 Pinellas teens arrested for bringing guns to Publix, deputies say

Pinellas County

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) – Three teenagers were arrested in a Wesley Chapel Publix Tuesday for bringing guns and ammunition into the grocery store, deputies said.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office said a Snapchat video showed a 15-year-old boy and two 16-year-old boys in the Publix bathroom racking the slides of firearms.

“Very thankful nothing happened. There was no violence in that store,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a Wednesday press conference.

News Channel 8 is not naming the boys because they are minors.

Deputies responded to the Publix, located at 5400 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., around 5 p.m. and were directed to the dairy section where the teenagers were walking. The deputies approached and detained the kids at gunpoint, deputies said.

“I think they were just as shocked to see us as we were to see them, when we came around the corner,” Sgt. Andy Denbo said.

Deputies said two of the juveniles were found to be in possession of guns and one was found with a stolen credit card and a stolen handgun from an auto burglary from earlier in the day.

News Channel 8 reached out to the boys’ families, and no one wanted to comment.

“They’re crazy,” said shopper Jesus Rosales. “Little kids, don’t know how to act. You’re about to be 18, grown up, and acting like childs. Not good!” he said.

Detectives interviewed the boys, but they didn’t explain why they were in the store with the guns.

An alert detective in Pinellas County first identified the Snapchat video and called the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, tipping off investigators in that jurisdiction, Nocco said. He lauded the partnership.

All three teens were arrested and taken to the county jail in Land O’ Lakes.

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