A shocking incident unfolded during a Pop Warner football practice in Apopka, Florida, as an 11-year-old boy retrieved a gun from his mother’s vehicle and shot two 13-year-olds following a heated dispute.
The altercation had initially sparked over a bag of chips.
Eyewitnesses at the scene reported that the argument quickly escalated, with the older boys chasing and physically confronting the 11-year-old.
Surveillance footage captured the moment when the older teenagers pursued the 11-year-old towards the vehicle. The boy reached into the car, where his mother had kept the firearm under the passenger seat. The 11-year-old allegedly fired a shot, hitting one teenager in the back and the other in the elbow.
Apopka Police Chief Michael McKinley expressed his disbelief at the incident, saying, “It’s troubling to comprehend why an 11-year-old would resort to using a firearm to resolve a dispute.”
Law enforcement responded swiftly to the shooting, arriving at the recreation center approximately four minutes after receiving the report.
Officers confiscated the firearm from the child and placed him under detention. The 11-year-old now faces charges of attempted second-degree murder and has been booked into the juvenile assessment center.
Authorities are considering charging the boy’s mother with a second-degree misdemeanour for leaving the gun unsecured in the vehicle.
McKinley emphasised the need for society to reflect on such incidents, which are becoming increasingly common.
Both injured teens, who are now in stable condition, were transported to the hospital for medical treatment. One of the victims underwent surgery, while the other remains hospitalised. Fortunately, both are expected to survive their injuries.
As the investigation unfolds, questions arise about the accessibility of firearms to minors and the urgency of implementing stricter safety measures.
McKinley expressed hope that the 11-year-old will receive the necessary support and intervention to prevent this incident from defining his future.
Apopka is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Orlando.