Volusia County

14-year-old boy accused of shooting man in leg during attempted drug deal

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A 14-year-old boy is accused of shooting a 20-year-old man in the leg in DeBary on Thursday after an attempted drug deal.

Deputies said the 14-year-old is charged with attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm by a juvenile -- second offense -- and violation of juvenile probation he received for his previous firearm possession charge in February.

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Volusia County deputies said the shooting was reported around noon Thursday, when the 20-year-old man told deputies he was shot outside 22 Estrella Road in DeBary after he attempted to purchase marijuana there from a person he knew.

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Deputies said the man had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his right calf.

Deputies said the 14-year-old’s firearm charge in February stemmed from an Instagram video in which he and two other juveniles showed off multiple firearms in a message over tensions with other students at River Springs Middle School in Orange City.

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The sheriff’s office said the Department of Juvenile Justice recommended a judge place him on probation, with a curfew and an assigned 250-word essay on “The Importance of Abiding By The Law.”

“Our broken juvenile justice system that assigns lame essays and gives pats on the head is failing our community,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Friday in a statement. “It’s time juveniles who want to act like adult criminals face real consequences for their actions.”

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Chitwood said he’s tired of the revolving door of the juvenile justice system and said cases like this teen’s are more the norm than the exception.

He said Volusia County has arrested 35 juveniles on gun charges this year while Flagler and St. Johns counties have only one each and Putnam County has 10.

Channel 9 reached out to the Department of Juvenile Justice for comment but has not heard back.

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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.

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