An 11-year-old boy pulled a gun from an open box in his mother's vehicle and shot two 13-year-old boys after an altercation that began during a Pop Warner football practice in central Florida, police said. . he said Tuesday.
The boy fired one shot Monday night, hitting one teen in the arm and the other in the torso, Apopka Police Chief Mike McKinley said during a news conference Tuesday morning. He said surveillance video showed both teens were running away from the boy when he shot himself.
The two teens are in stable condition, McKinley said.
The shooting was reported around 8:18 p.m. and officers arrived at the scene about four minutes later, McKinley said.
Responding officers took the boy's gun from him and he was taken into custody, McKinley said. The boy was later charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder and booked into the juvenile evaluation center. The chief said the boy's mother could face a second-degree misdemeanor charge for leaving a gun unsecured.
“As a society, we must reflect on this. Now we see this all the time,” McKinley said. "It is a pity. No one wants to arrest an 11-year-old child in any way.”
McKinley added that any additional charges will depend on the court system.
“Our hope is that the 11-year-old gets the assistance he needs to make sure this is not a solution for the rest of his life. He is 11 years old and has a long life ahead of him,” McKinley said. “There is no doubt that he can change things. Hopefully our court system, with diversion programs, counseling and other things, can help him get through this and get to a point where picking up a firearm is not his resolution for the future.”
McKinley did not say what the altercation was about. An investigation is ongoing.
He said there were a lot of parents and kids at practice, and there were more adults and kids at a nearby soccer practice. No one else was injured.
Apopka is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Orlando, Florida.