DeLAND, Fla. - A 13-year-old boy is accused of accidentally shooting a teenage girl in DeLand last November, police said.
Cameron Cuthrell is facing a charge of carrying a concealed firearm and of discharging a firearm in public after police say he accidentally shot a teenage girl on Nov. 17, according to a news release.
The girl and others originally told police they believed someone had fired a shot from the woods behind the house on Sherwood Drive where she was wounded, but that turned out not to be true, the news release said.
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Witnesses eventually told police that Cuthrell was hanging out with the girl and a group of people when he showed off a pistol and it went off, striking the girl in the wrist, police said.
One witness told police Cuthrell was showing the gun off after hearing a story about a man who made lewd comments to the group and that he intended to protect them from that man, police said.
Cuthrell apologized before leaving the house in November, witnesses said, and the girl and the other witnesses told detectives the bullet came from the woods in order to try to protect him, the news release said.
Detectives later found a 9 mm handgun in a dining room cabinet inside the house where the girl was shot.
Cuthrell turned himself in to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Police Chief Jason Umberger commended the girl and others for eventually telling the truth and said the case is a good example of the community working together with the police department.
"We're here to help our residents and keep them safe," Umberger said in a statement. "If you witness a crime, it is always right to tell the truth immediately to police. Lying or misleading the police about a criminal investigation could result in a witness potentially being arrested. Fortunately - we did eventually get cooperation from some of the people involved - and were able to identify the person responsible and charge him with the appropriate crimes. Now it is the responsibility of the Department of Juvenile Justice and ultimately the courts to hold him accountable."
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