Teen Shooting Stuns Tampa 13-Year-Old in Custody
Image Source: FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Teen Shooting Stuns Tampa: 13-Year-Old in Custody

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested by the Tampa Police Department (TPD) for allegedly shooting a 15-year-old with a stolen firearm.

On September 7th, TPD received reports of a shooting in the vicinity of East Seneca Avenue and East Jasmine Avenue. While en route to the location, they received another call about a 15-year-old who had been shot.

According to the police, the victim and a friend were walking to a nearby 7-Eleven on North Nebraska Avenue when they encountered a group of juveniles they were familiar with.

The 13-year-old suspect then allegedly fired the stolen gun, injuring the 15-year-old. In response, the 15-year-old victim also fired back.

The injured 15-year-old was subsequently transported to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Hillsborough County State Attorney Suzy Lopez stated that, “We are seeing that juveniles are having guns at younger and younger ages. 13 years old is what we have with one of these defendants. The other defendant was 15 years old. This was also not their first time in the criminal justice system. Both of them have pending charges, one of them has violation of probation, and the other one has a laundry list of pending cases. This is not the first time that these young people had guns and possessed guns.”

The detectives collected proof and accounts from witnesses and concluded that the 13-year-old was the one who started the altercation.

Both individuals fled after the gunfire, but the police found the young suspect near the scene around three days later, on September 10. The suspect’s name is not being disclosed by ABC Action News because of his age.

The officers apprehended the teenager and found him carrying a handgun with a single bullet in it. The gun had been taken from a car not long ago.

Chief Lee Bercaw with the Tampa Police Department stated that “the gun used by the 13-year-old was stolen from a car that was unlocked. We can’t stress it enough. Lock your cars, take your valuables out, and if you own a firearm, do not leave it in your car. In this case, the firearm was in a car left unlocked, and a 13-year-old gets it and gets into a shootout with a 15-year-old. This can’t happen. We have to reduce the access to firearms.”

The 13-year-old involved in the incident was also hurt. He had gunshot wounds on his legs and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The teenager is facing charges for having a weapon as a minor, carrying a hidden firearm, firing a gun in public, and causing serious harm or using a deadly weapon.