Police arrest 14-year-old Florida boy, charge him with attempted murder of 3 sheriff’s deputies

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WAUCHULA, FL – A 14-year-old boy has been charged with the attempted murder of three sheriff’s deputies, among other charges, after sheriff’s deputies responded to a burglary and the teen allegedly opened fire on them. 

According to the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office, the teenage suspect recently escaped the Lakeside Neurologic rehab center based in Wauchula, before deputies encountered him on November 26th.

Apparently, after the young teen managed to escape the facility, he reportedly went on a  burglary spree through some of the nearby residential areas.

After allegedly burglarizing numerous residences near Vandolah Road, deputies arrived and confronted the teen. Officials say that’s when the 14-year-old opened fire on the three deputies. 

Records indicate that the teen was armed with both a pistol and a shotgun when he opened fire. Luckily, none of the deputies were hit by the gun spray. 

Deputies on the scene returned fire on the suspect, reportedly wounding him non-fatally. First responders transferred the suspect to Tampa General Hospital. The teen was treated and eventually released into the custody of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Reports indicate that the juvenile suspect was charged with three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, armed burglary, and theft of a firearm.

As of right now, the teen has not been charged as an adult, therefore details on the suspect’s identity are currently being withheld. It’s unclear whether the case will eventually be referred to the adult court system. 

 

Following the shooting, all three of the deputies were placed on an administrative leave, standard operating procedure for any deputy-involved shooting, with the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is head of the investigation of the deputy-involved shooting. The FDLE has determined that the deputies’ shooting of the juvenile was justified under the circumstances. 

All three deputies have been cleared to resume their regular duties with the department. 

This is a developing story. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today to receive updates on this investigation. 

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Elsewhere in Florida, a group of teens were recently arrested and charged with the murder of a local librarian. However, these teens have had their respective cases referred to the adult court system. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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POLK CITY, FL – Roughly two weeks after a local librarian in Polk City was critically injured after being run over allegedly by a group of teens, officials say the woman has succumbed to her injuries

The incident occurred on November 9th, at the woman’s home when three teen juveniles and one 18-year-old physically attacked her son. 

Weeks after the incident, the woman – identified as 52-year-old Suzette Penton – passed away on November 25th. 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspects involved as 18-year-old Elijah Stansell, 16-year-old Raven Sutton, 15-year-old Kimberly Stone and 14-year-old Hannah Eubank. 

Apparently, the incident occurred after Penton’s son had a romantic falling-out with Kimberly Stone. According to Sheriff Grady Judd, Stone had been harassing Penton’s son so much that she had been suspended from school on November 9th. 

It was on that day, according to officials, that Stone convinced two friends – Raven Sutton and Hannah Eubank – and her new boyfriend, Elijah Stansell, to beat up Penton’s son at his home. 

During the most recent press briefing, Sheriff Judd relayed that Stansell and the three teens were inside a van outside of the victim’s home on November 9th. 

After Penton left the house, the four suspects beat on the door of the home.  Penton’s son answered the door and was assaulted by the group. 

While the assault was ongoing, Penton unexpectedly arrived back home and saw the attack on her son. She tried to get photos of the suspects’ vehicle.  Authorities say that’s when Stansell ran her over. 

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, there were both witnesses to the altercation and video surveillance that captured portions of the fight and incident thereafter. 

Prior to Penton’s death, Stansell was under charges of attempted felony murder, burglary with assault, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and lewd and lascivious battery on a minor (his current 15-year-old girl friend, Penton’s son’s ex-girlfriend.)

Sheriff Judd noted that those charges will be upgraded. 

As for the three minors involved, they were initially booked as juveniles under charges of attempted felony murder and burglary with assault.

The sheriff’s office noted that following the news of the victim’s death, each of their cases are now being transferred out of the juvenile court system and will all be tried as adults. 

When speaking about the incident, Sheriff Judd relayed that this was a situation where mal-intent was planned from the gate and executed when put into action: 

“This was a coordinated, planned attack, carried out by a group of teens who beat up a teen then ran over his mother, leaving her for dead. I can’t even fathom teenagers doing something so heinous. Our prayers are with this family.”

It is unclear if the juvenile teens will be facing any upgraded charges alongside Stansell, who had been officially charged with first-degree murder as of December 1st. 

This is a developing story. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today to receive updates on this investigation. 

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