Police officers were forced to fire on a pair of foster children after they reportedly opened fire during a home robbery in Deltona. The 14-year-old girl and the 12-year-old boy had run away from Florida United Methodist Children's Home.
They allegedly broke into an empty home in Deltona on Tuesday.
As reported on Wednesday by WFOR-TV, the pair discovered ammunition inside the house.
How did it all happen?
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that the police were searching for the children because the 12-year-old boy, identified as Travis O'Brien by WKMG-TV, is insulin-dependent.
“So, the deputies in the Deltona area go out looking for this 12-year-old and this 14-year-old because the 12-year-old is insulin-dependent and the 12-year-old, if he doesn't get his medication within four hours, it's going to be a critical medical emergency,” Chitwood explained for the news outlets.
WKMG reported that the boy and the girl, identified as 14-year-old Nicole Jackson, broke into a home in the area after they ran away. A neighbor heard glass breaking and immediately called the police, who arrived swiftly on the scene.
The station notes that when the deputies arrived at the location the youths started shooting at them with the guns they had found inside the house. The authorities say that they were intent on injuring the officers.
“Their conversation was they were going to kill my sergeant. They were coming out for cops. They were coming out for deputies, that's the conversation,” Chitwood remarked about the shocking incident.
The officers attempted to negotiate with the two suspects for almost two hours before they were forced to fire on them. During that time the youths are said to have destroyed the furniture, toilets, and bathroom with a baseball bat while also targeting officers.
“This went on for hours. This wasn't split-second. We were out here from 7:30 to 9 o'clock until we returned fire,” Chitwood added.
How did it all end?
The two kids continued to shoot at officers from several vantage points inside the house, including from a pool, the bedrooms and the garage.
Around 9 p.m. the girl came out of the home's garage with a gun.
“Despite warnings to drop it, she walked back into the garage, she comes back a second time, and that's when deputies opened fire after taking multiple rounds.”
The boy surrendered after seeing that the girl was hurt. WKMG reported that the girl was taken to a nearby hospital and is in stable condition. No others were hurt.
“Our 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. Where have we gone wrong that 12-year-old and 14-year-old think it's ok to take on law enforcement? What is the Department of Juvenile Justice doing sending these kids to places that can't handle them?” Chitwood said in a statement about the Deltona incident.