TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 14-year-old boy was arrested for murder in the shooting death of another 14-year-old in Sarasota, police said.
The Sarasota Police Department said on Monday that the 14-year-old, whose name WFLA has withheld, was taken into custody early in the morning.
Police said officers found the victim in a pool of blood after responding to a 911 call about a shooting in the 1500 block of 29th Street. They said the teen suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, and that life-saving measures were unsuccessful. Three people, including the suspect were taken in for questioning.
The suspect said he was hanging out with four other boys, and three of them left. He said the one who stayed behind had been holding a firearm and was carrying another gun in his pocket. He claims he saw that boy shoot the gun and run away, but the boy in question was able to prove he wasn’t at the home.
Two other minors told police they saw the suspect and the victim holding firearms on two separate occasions before the shooting. One said he was hanging out with them in a utility room before the shooting happened and saw them both with guns. The teen told police the suspect was sitting on a chair while the victim stood in front of him. He said the victim was still alive when he left the home, then the suspect called him later in the day and told him the victim was dead. The next day, he said the suspect called again and asked him to get the gun, which was abandoned in a house across the street. He refused. Officers went to the home later and found the gun in a plastic bag.
The 14-year-old was arrested just before 3 a.m. Monday on felony murder charges, according to a press release.
Anyone with information about the case is being asked to call detectives at 941-263-6070 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or visiting www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.