On October 7, 2021, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) was notified by AdventHealth about a 15-year-old who came into the emergency room with a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. The juvenile victim advised he was shot while walking along a bike trail on his way home from football practice. The juvenile victim is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

The victim was walking along a bike path with a friend after leaving Matanzas High School football practice when they were yelled at by another juvenile from his residence. He was shouting at the two juveniles from a screened-in patio telling them to leave the area and go home. The two juveniles continued along the bike trail when a juvenile approached them with a rifle, later determined to be a BB gun.

The two juveniles became scared and attempted to leave the area when a single shot was fired, striking the victim and causing him to fall to his knees. According to the victim, the shooter then ran inside his residence laughing. The two juvenile victims continued home and the injured victim notified his mother of the incident. He was then taken to the AdventHealth Palm Coast for medical attention, who notified FCSO of the shooting. Based on the victim’s statement, detectives believe the incident was the result of a taunting incident earlier in the day.

Based on the information provided by the victim, FCSO deputies and detectives were able to identify the suspect. Upon questioning, the juvenile suspect stated he was sitting outside when the two juveniles showed up at the rear of his residence on the bike trail. He told them to “go home” and when they didn’t leave, he grabbed a BB gun to scare them. He then aimed the BB-rifle and using the rifle’s scope fired the BB gun one-time toward them and went back inside his residence.

“This young man is on a fast track to serious trouble,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “His actions could have caused serious injury and I’m glad the victim is going to be ok. I hope this kid learns his lesson and can get on the right path moving forward. Also, parents are reminded that under Florida law the only time a child under age 16 may use a BB or pellet gun is if they are under the supervision and in the presence of an adult.”

The juvenile shooter was arrested and transported to Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. He’s being charged with Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery Causing Bodily Harm. He was released into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

Florida law on the limitations of BB and Pellet Guns:

790.22 Use of BB guns, air or gas-operated guns, or electric weapons or devices by minor under 16; limitation; possession of firearms by minor under 18 prohibited; penalties:

(1) The use for any purpose whatsoever of BB guns, air or gas-operated guns, or electric weapons or devices, by any minor under the age of 16 years is prohibited unless such use is under the supervision and in the presence of an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent.

Media Release: Melissa Morreale, Public Affairs Officer

Organizational Services Division, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

Image: LongIslandWeekly.com/A Christmas Story

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