Sanford boy, 10, injured in shooting remains in intensive care; suspect at large

Updated:

Loading

SANFORD, Fla. - A young boy was shot in the stomach during an argument between two men in Sanford Thursday night, police said.

Channel 9 has learned the boy who was shot is 10-year-old Jeremiah Taylor and students at his elementary school are praying for him.

"I feel sympathy for the family and it touched my heart," said parent Iliana Benitez.

Sanford police said Taylor was rushed to Winnie Palmer Hospital and underwent surgery following the shooting around 7:30 p.m. The boy remains in the intensive care unit.

"One of the shots happened to hit a boy that was riding his bike in the area," said Shannon Cordingly, with the Sanford Police Department. "He was airlifted to Winnie Palmer Hospital. He was shot in the abdomen and he has lost a lot of blood. We do not know the child's current condition."

Police said the two men were arguing near 13th Place and Oleander Avenue when at least one of the men opened fire and shot the other in the buttocks.

"911, do you need police, fire or medical?" a dispatcher asked.

"Yeah, we need everything! We need everything down here on Oleander Avenue," the 911 caller said.

Police said they're questioning the man who was shot and are currently looking for the gunman, who they have identified as 21-year-old Daquan Butts, who also goes by the nickname Bo-Bo.

The suspect’s family and witnesses are helping police locate Butts.

Police said the department’s work to mend its relationship with the community may have started to pay off.

“It’s starting to come around. People are starting to talk about the things happening,” said Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith.

Smith hopes the community will rally together to find the shooter.

"If this doesn't anger or upset the individuals in all our communities, where an individual feels it's important enough to take out a firearm and shoot bullets that have no discretion of who it hits. This is senseless, completely senseless. We are appealing to the public the people in this community to find Mr. Butts," Smith said.

Police said Butts is a self-proclaimed gang member with arrests for several violent crimes, including a bar robbery during which he allegedly stole a gun.

Police said the boy's mother was at the scene when he was shot.

The shooting remains under investigation, and police are canvassing the area and trying to talk to witnesses.

Anyone with information on Butts' whereabouts is asked to call 911.