Police: Teenage boy shot in head while sleeping in Sanford home

Video: Police: Teenage boy shot in head while sleeping in Sanford home

SANFORD, Fla. — A 16-year-old boy was shot in the head late Sunday at a home, the Sanford Police Department said.

Someone shot into a home shortly before midnight on Little Fox Avenue near North Ronald Reagan and East Lake Mary boulevards, police spokesman Ronny Neal said.

Police said the boy was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital in stable condition. His injuries weren't life-threatening, officials said.

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Seminole County Public Schools spokesman Michael Lawrence said the boy is a Winter Springs High School student. A grief counselor was at the school Monday.

"Our thoughts are with the student's family, friends and loved ones at this time," Lawrence said. "We are hopeful for a full and speedy recovery."

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Shaun Merrill Sr. told Channel 9 that his son, Shaun Merrill Jr., was shot but said he doesn't believe his son was the intended target. He said he thinks the gunman had the wrong home.

Merrill Sr. said his 18-year-old daughter turned on her brother's bedroom lights and found him bleeding.

About a half-dozen bullet holes can be seen in the hood of Merrill Sr.’s car, in the stucco of the home and the front windows.

"My son is 16 years old. He goes to Winter Springs High School. He plays varsity basketball," Merrill Sr. said. "He (doesn't) know nothing about the street life."

He said his son underwent surgery Monday to have the bullet removed from his head. He said the boy is alert and talking.

"He asked me, he said, 'Does this mean I can’t play basketball?'" Merrill Sr. said.

He believes something slowed the bullet down.

"From hitting the window and the headboard, it really slowed the impact down," he said.

Merrill’s basketball coach, Ondraus Campbell, said the victim is a good kid, but can’t understand why someone would shoot at a home in the middle of the night.

"Gun violence happens everywhere. I just wish that before you go shooting somewhere, you try to resolve it a different way because gun violence kills people daily," Campbell said.

Two vehicles were seen driving past the victim's home in surveillance footage that was recorded from a neighbor's home, a police report said.

"The first vehicle drove past slowly and the second stopped in front of the home," the officer wrote. "I was unable to obtain a vehicle description other than that they were both passenger cars."

Investigators said the gunman remains at large.

The shooting remains under investigation.