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DELTONA, Fla. (WESH) – State Attorney’s RJ Larizza announced charges against the 14-year-old and 12-year-old who fired upon Volusia County deputies.
Larizza said the 14-year-old girl will be charged as an adult, while the 12-year-old will be charged in juvenile court. Both will face charges of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer, burglary of a dwelling with a firearm and criminal mischief.
While the 14-year-old is being charged as an adult, the judge will have the discretion to issue juvenile sanctions.
“It’s going to take a while to work through the process,” Larizza said. “There is a lot of issues that surround individuals that are under the age of 18 and the criminal justice system.”
The 12-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl are accused of shooting at deputies for hours earlier this month in a home that Sheriff Mike Chitwood said they broke into.
“This went on for hours. This wasn’t a split second, we exchange gunfire. We were out here from 7:30 until 9 o’clock until we returned fire,” Chitwood said.
According to officials, the two juveniles broke into a house in Enterprise and used multiple weapons found inside to open fire on responding deputies.
According to Chitwood, around 5 p.m. the boy had reportedly run away with the girl from a juvenile home for troubled children. Deputies searched for the two children, as the 12-year-old is insulin-dependent.
Each time a deputy located the children, Chitwood said they would run away. Around 7 p.m., the sheriff said a passerby said he heard glass breaking at a home. Deputies then discovered a house had been broken into.
Officials with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office called the homeowner, who said no one should be at the home, and that homeowner told the sheriff’s office there were firearms and ammunition in the house.
According to Chitwood, as deputies surrounded the home, they were met with gunfire, multiple times.
At 8:28 p.m., a sergeant took gunfire multiple times, but did not return fire. The children continued to shoot at deputies, the sheriff said.
The girl later emerged from the home and threatened to kill a deputy, Chitwood said. Authorities said she was shot by deputies after she came out of the garage again, armed with a gun.
The 12-year-old boy decided to surrender, the sheriff said. No deputies were injured.
“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. “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. What the hell is the department of juvenile justice doing sending them to places that can’t handle them?”