DELAND, Fla. (AP) — A 14-year-old girl who was wounded earlier this month during a shootout with deputies after escaping a juvenile facility and breaking into a Florida home with a 12-year-old boy will be charged as an adult, a prosecutor said.
The boy, who also shot at deputies but wasn’t wounded, will be charged as a juvenile, State Attorney R.J. Larizza said during a news conference.
Both juveniles are facing charges of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, armed burglary of a dwelling and felony criminal mischief because of damage in the home. The two broke into the home after escaping the juvenile facility and fired weapons they had discovered at deputies who had come looking for them, authorities said.
Deputies shot and wounded the girl after she came out of the house and pointed a weapon at them, authorities said. No deputies were injured. The girl was initially hospitalized and required surgery but has since been transferred to a juvenile detention center where she is still undergoing medical care.
Even though the girl is being charged as an adult, the presiding judge will have the discretion to issue juvenile sanctions against her, Larizza said.
“It’s very disturbing when you’re looking at such serious charges with such young folks,” Larizza said.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in a statement that he supported the “difficult” charging decisions the prosecutor had to make.
“The first priority for me is that our deputies are alive,” Chitwood said. “What happens next in the courtroom will be up to a judge and jury.”
Authorities released their names but The Associated Press does not generally identify juveniles who have been charged with crimes.