Two juveniles engaged police in a lengthy shootout after they allegedly broke into a house in Florida on Tuesday.
“This went on for hours,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the public Tuesday night. “This wasn’t a split second, we exchange gunfire. We were out here from 7:30 until 9 o’clock until we returned fire.”
Around 5 p.m. Tuesday evening, a 12-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl ran away from a home for troubled children.
Police quickly searched for the children because the 12-year-old is insulin-dependent, but each time they were located, Chitwood said the children ran away.
Around 7 p.m. a passerby informed the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office he heard glass breaking at a nearby home.
Deputies discovered the house had been broken into and called the homeowner, who said no one should be at home.
The homeowner said there was an AK-47, a handgun, a shotgun and a large amount of ammunition in the home, ABC News reported.
When deputies surrounded the home and tried to talk the children into surrendering peacefully, the children began shooting at them. Although sergeants took gunfire multiple times, they did not return fire.
At around 8:40 p.m., the 14-year-old girl came out and allegedly threatened to kill a deputy.
When she came out of the garage and reportedly pointed the shotgun at deputies, she was shot and wounded. The 12-year-old boy who was armed with the AK-47 surrendered.
The 14-year-old was taken to the hospital and is now in stable condition. She had reportedly previously burned down a Flagler County children’s home she was sent to live in.
The 12-year-old was not injured, but was taken to the hospital because of his medical condition, according to WESH.
“Deputies did everything they could to de-escalate, 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 these kids to places that can’t handle them?”
The deputies involved are on temporary paid administrative leave.
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