Sheriff: Body cam video shows shootout between boy, 13, police officer

LAKELAND, Fla. — Investigators say body camera video shows a Lakeland police officer chasing an armed 13-year-old before the teenager shot the officer in the foot.

Police said the officer returned fire, hitting the teenage suspect, and that two other teenagers are also facing charges in this case.


The shooting happened north of downtown Lakeland on Kettles Avenue near Memorial Boulevard.

Investigators said all three teenagers involved are affiliated with a gang.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said a 19,14 and 13-year-old were driving around Lakeland, smoking marijuana with two stolen loaded guns in their car.

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At some point, Judd said an officer responding to another call heard gunshots and found the suspects in a car.

All three are now facing first-degree attempted murder charges.

Police said dash cam video captured the moment three teens ditched a car in Lakeland, leading police on a chase and eventually into a shootout.

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A few minutes later,  a Lakeland police officer is seen chasing a suspect, identified by police as 13-year-old Wesley Dalmas.

The video shows Dalmas point his gun at the officer before a cloud of dust appears.

Judd said that was when the officer was shot in the foot by the 13-year-old and then returned fire.

Judd said the teen was shot in the leg, thigh and stomach.

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Judd said all three suspects were on probation for prior arrests and are involved with gangs.

“So they’re smoking dope riding around in the car, looking for an op. What’s an op? An opportunity to shoot the opposition,” Judd said.

Investigators said the officer is improving and should leave the hospital sometime Thursday. The 13-year-old is still in the hospital.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.