(RepublicanNews.org) – An unnamed 11-year-old has been accused of shooting two of his 13-year-old teammates following a Pop Warner football practice outside Orlando on October 2nd. The suspect has since been arrested and charged with attempted murder in the second degree. One victim is in a local hospital in stable condition and the other has already been sent home.
According to officials, the trio had been involved in a mid-practice scuffle. At some point, the alleged suspect went to the parking lot where his mother’s vehicle was parked and retrieved a handgun. Authorities said he then approached the victims and pulled the trigger a single time, hitting both boys with the same bullet. One victim was reportedly struck in his arm and the other in his midsection.
The events unfolded just after 8 p.m. and Apopka police officers were on scene within 6 minutes of being dispatched. Mike McKinley, the Apopka Police Chief, told reporters that it was “not good” that someone as young as the suspect had “access to guns.” He further questioned how it was possible that an 11-year-old thought it was acceptable to use a firearm to “resolve a dispute.”
Authorities have not yet indicated what caliber the alleged shooter used, but they have said that the gun was taken from an unsecured box in his mother’s car. It is also unclear if she was waiting in the vehicle at the time and did nothing to stop him, or if she was briefly away from the vehicle. Chief McKinley said she will likely face charges herself.
A former Pop Warner chaplain told reporters that the shooting was “out of character” for the city and recommended that the community begin a “conflict management curriculum” that teaches young people how to resolve their differences without the use of violence.
Pop Warner is a national nonprofit that engages youth with sporting opportunities. They are comparable to the Boys and Girls Clubs.
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