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Teen Girl, 12-Year-Old Boy With AK-47 Engage Deputies In Prolonged Gunfight

Deltona, FL – A 14-year-old girl was shot on Tuesday night after she and a 12-year-old boy opened fire on Volusia County sheriff’s deputies from a home they had broken into in Deltona.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the incident began at about 5 p.m. on June 2 after the two juveniles were reported for having run away from the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, WKMG reported.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said their disappearance from the foster home had a heightened level of urgency because 12-year-old Travis O’Brien is an insulin-dependent diabetic.

“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,” Sheriff Chitwood explained.

Deputies were looking for the two juveniles in the 1000-block of Enterprise Osteen Road when they were approached by residents who said they had heard glass breaking at a home nearby, WKMG reported.

When deputies went to the home, they found obvious signs of forced entry.

“And the amazing thing is they don’t do what I would have done,” Sheriff Chitwood told reporters. “I would have walked in because I have an eyewitness telling me two juveniles just forced their way into the home. They take a step back and contact the homeowner and say, ‘Should anybody have access to your home?’ as resources are pouring in to surround the property.”

Records showed that the homeowner told the deputies nobody should be in the home, WKMG reported.

The homeowner also warned law enforcement that there was an AK-47, a pump shotgun, and a handgun inside the home, along with 200 rounds of ammunition.

Authorities said the 12 year old and 14 year old used bats to destroy the inside of the home, including furniture, toilets, and a bathtub, WKMG reported.

Deputies said the kids opened fire on the deputies at about 8:30 p.m.

“At 8:28, one of my sergeants who was the first to arrive, Sgt. Donnie Maxwell, takes fire multiple times, never returns fire,” Sheriff Chitwood said.

“At 8:31, one of our units reports they’re being fired at by the 12- and the 14-year-old. At 8:33, another call comes out from another group of deputies surrounding the home saying that shots were fired,” the sheriff told reporters. “At 8:40, the 14-year-old emerges from the property and threatens to kill Sgt. Maxwell. At 8:54, the juvenile male, armed with an AK-47, opens fire on deputies.”

He said deputies did not initially return fire and tried to deescalate the situation, WKMG reported.

Sheriff Chitwood said one deputy risked their life to step into the line of fire and throw a cell phone to the shooters in an attempt to bring about a peaceful resolution, but juveniles weren’t interested.

“The 14-year-old comes out of the garage with a pump shotgun, levels it at deputies and 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 sheriff said.

The 14-year-old girl – later identified as Nicole Jackson – was shot in the chest and the arm, WKMG reported.

She was in listed in stable condition at the hospital.

“My deputies showed more restraint than I’m showing right now because I am furious that we could be burying somebody tonight,” an outraged Sheriff Chitwood told reporters at the scene. “They took multiple, multiple rounds… And I know for a fact one banana clip was empty from the AK-47. I know from the radio transmissions that a 12-year-old opened fire on us.”

“I know that the 14-year-old opened fire on us with a shotgun and then walked out and threatened one of my sergeants and told him she was going to kill him,” the sheriff continued. “And we didn’t returned fire. But after she came out of the garage, hey, there was nothing left that we could do. We had to do we had to do.”

Deputies immediately began to provide medical aid to the wounded teen girl while other deputies focused on disarming the 12-year-old boy who was still armed with the AK-47, WKMG reported.

Sheriff Chitwood said O’Brien dropped the AK-47 about 30 seconds later.

The boy wasn’t injured and neither were any of the deputies, WKMG reported.

“I could not be prouder of the way my deputies acted. They went above and beyond for what they did,” the sheriff said. “And also, I know tonight I’ll drop down on my hands and knees and pray that I’m not going to somebody’s home, one of my deputies’ homes, and telling them that they were killed in a line of duty and killed by a 12-year-old a 14-year-old. This is unbelievable.”

He called the pair “evil” and described them as “Bonnie and Clyde,” WKMG reported.

Sheriff Chitwood said the kids opened fire on deputies from multiple vantage points in the home that included a bedroom, the pool deck, and the garage.

“Their conversation was they were going to kill my sergeant,” he told reporters. “They were coming out to kill cops. They were coming out to kill deputies, that’s the conversation.”

The sheriffs said Jackson had been in trouble before and had stolen puppies and burned down the juvenile facility where she previously lived in Flagler County, WKMG reported.

He said Jackson was next sent to the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Volusia County, which wasn’t prepared to deal with her.

Sheriff Chitwood said a security guard at the juvenile facility was beaten to death earlier this year and called the home “a complete failure,” WKMG reported.

“The brainiacs in Tallahassee, they want to do this restorative justice stuff,” he said. “They need to take a deep look and say, ‘Something’s not right here,’ because where the rubber meets the road, these kids are killers. They’re capable of killing. This juvenile citation [expletive] that you hear from these faith groups, they need to worry about what’s going on in the pulpit in their church, not worried about what’s going on on the [expletive] streets when you have 14-year-olds and 12-year-olds arming themselves.”

The sheriff said Volusia County deputies have responded to calls from the children’s home 289 times in the past year, WKMG reported.

He said he planned to release the bodycam video of the incident as soon as Wednesday.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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