During a Pop Warner football practice in Apopka, Florida, on Monday evening, an 11-year-old boy allegedly shot two 13-year-old teammates after a dispute. The incident took place at approximately 8:18 p.m. ET. The police chief of Apopka, Mike McKinley, reported in a Tuesday press conference that one of the teens sustained a gunshot wound to the arm while the other was hit in the torso. Both are currently in stable condition.
Surveillance footage captured the two teens fleeing from the boy at the time of the shooting. McKinley noted that law enforcement arrived roughly 4 minutes post-incident, confiscating the firearm and detaining the boy.
Subsequently, the young boy faces a charge of attempted second-degree murder and has been placed in a juvenile assessment facility. The firearm was sourced from an unlocked container in his mother’s vehicle, leading to potential second-degree misdemeanor charges against her.
Chief McKinley remarked on the disturbing nature of the event, stating, “It’s deeply troubling to witness such incidents repeatedly. Arresting an 11-year-old is a situation no one desires.” He concluded that the courts would determine any further legal actions.
“We sincerely hope this young boy receives the necessary support and guidance to ensure this incident doesn’t define his future. Given that he’s only 11, he has many years ahead. There’s immense potential for him to change his path. It’s our aspiration that the judicial system, through intervention programs, counseling, and other measures, can guide him towards a future where resorting to violence isn’t seen as a solution.”
Chief McKinley refrained from commenting on the cause of the shooting. However, an arrest record from FOX 13 suggests that the boy had a dispute with two teenagers, who reportedly taunted him over a bag of chips.
Charges will be brought against the 11-year-old shooter.
In 2022, school shootings reached 46, the highest count since the Columbine incident. This increase paralleled the overall surge in gun violence in America as the nation transitioned out of the pandemic.
However, research from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security indicates that recognizing the warning signs of potential gun violence can aid in its prevention, offering hope for reversing this alarming trend.
During that year, 34 students and adults tragically lost their lives, and over 43,000 children faced exposure to gunfire within school settings. Support and resources are available for those affected by gun violence.