Wauchula, FL – A 14-year-old Florida boy has been charged with the attempted murder of three Hardee County sheriff’s deputies.
Authorities said that the incident occurred in November after the boy escaped from the Lakeside Neurologic rehabilitation center in Wauchula, WFLA reported.
After he escaped from the locked facility, the 14 year old went on a burglary spree through the nearby neighborhoods.
The sheriff’s department said the boy burglarized and vandalized multiple homes along Vandolah Road, WFTS reported.
When deputies responded to a call about one of the burglaries on Nov. 26, they encountered the teen suspect, WFLA reported.
The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office said the 14-year-old boy opened fire on three sheriff’s deputies with both a pistol and a shotgun, WTVT reported.
The deputies returned fire and the teenage gunman was hit at least once, according to WFTS.
None of the deputies were hit during the exchange of gunfire.
The 14 year old was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital and treated for his gunshot wounds, WFTS reported.
When he was released from the hospital, the suspect was transferred into the custody of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, WTVT reported.
The boy was booked into the detention facility and charged with three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, WFLA reported.
He is also charged with theft of a firearm and armed burglary.
However, the 14 year old has not been charged as an adult, WFLA reported.
Authorities have withheld the shooter’s name because he was charged as a juvenile.
All three deputies were initially placed on paid administrative leave, as is protocol for all deputy-involved shootings.
The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) led the investigation into the deputy-involved shooting, WFLA reported.
FDLE’s investigation determined the shooting was justified and all three deputies have been cleared to return to regular duty.