13-year-old exchanges fire with police officers in Florida

LAKELAND, Fla. (HPD) β€” A 13-year-old boy exchanged fire with police in a chase through a residential neighborhood in central Florida, wounding an officer and ending up in the hospital after being shot himself, it was reported. authorities.

An officer was hit in the foot in the incident that occurred Wednesday night in Lakeland, between Tampa and Orlando, authorities said, adding that the officer will be released in the coming days. No other officers were hurt.

Police officers were responding to reports that someone was shot from a car in a park. Officer Jamie Smith saw the suspect’s vehicle and gave chase. When the vehicle came to a stop, three of its occupants got out and ran, Police Chief Sam Taylor said.

Smith saw the 13-year-old running down a sidewalk next to a residential complex with a gun drawn, Taylor said. The young man entered the residential complex despite the order to stop. When Smith turned a corner, the teen was crouching waiting for him and shot him, Taylor said.

The officer was shot in the left foot and returned fire, but the youth fled, the police chief said. Smith called for backup and continued to pursue the young man. He lost it but other officers saw him trying to hide in some bushes. The young man tried to flee and got into a shootout with police officers, during which he was shot in the lower extremities and taken to Tampa General Hospital, Taylor said. Police believe he was later released.

The same young man had been arrested in January after a carjacking and a gun had been stolen in that incident, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

β€œHe doesn’t care about life, not at all. Zero,” said Judd, whose agency is investigating. “He may be chronologically 13 years old, but he’s a hardened criminal willing to get into a shootout with cops.”

The authorities have asked the prosecution to prosecute the young man as an adult. The Associated Press is not currently identifying him due to his age.

At least one of the other people in the car was taken into custody Wednesday night.

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