2:50 PM PDT, June 3, 2021
A 12-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl who ran away from their Florida group home are in custody after cops say they broke into a house, armed themselves with the homeowner’s guns and opened fire on responding deputies in a 30-minute shootout.
“After deputies surrounded the home and began making announcements into the house, the children started shooting,” said a press release from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
According to authorities, 14-year-old Nicole Jackson was shot and wounded after she came out of the garage and pointed a shotgun at deputies. She remains in the hospital as she recovers from life-threatening injuries.
Travis O’Brien, 12, came out 30 seconds later with his hands raised, authorities said. He was also taken to the hospital because he has diabetes and didn’t have his medication with him, according to the sheriff’s office.
O’Brien appeared virtually at a court hearing Thursday and was charged with attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
Cops say the boy and girl ran away from Florida United Methodist Children’s Home Tuesday night and were reported missing shortly before 5 p.m. Around 7:30 p.m., a passerby reported hearing glass break at a home in the Enterprise neighborhood.
“As they approached the house, deputies saw two figures in the house. They contacted the homeowner, who told them no one should be home, and that there was a handgun, a shotgun and an AK-47 inside, along with a large amount of ammunition,” the sheriff’s statement said.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood praised his deputies at a news conference.
“Deputies did everything they could tonight to de-escalate, and they almost lost their lives to a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference. “If it wasn’t for their training and their supervision… Somebody would have ended up dead.”
The homeowner whose guns were stolen says he hasn’t been allowed back inside, but has been told the home sustained a lot of damage.