12-year-old, 14-year-old involved in shootout with deputies

"[Sheriff] Chitwood said the 14-year-old who fired at deputies had previously burned down a children’s home that she was sent to live in, located in Flagler County.

“I don’t know what to say. Where have we gone wrong that a 12-year-old and 14-year-old think it’s OK to take on law enforcement. What the hell is the department of juvenile justice doing sending them to places that can’t handle them?”

It is frustrating to see a sheriff so clueless. Isn’t there a 3-letter organization that teaches children to do just that?


Lots of levels to this story. The most important being the mostly broken child protective services system that far too often fails to protect and help troubled kids. Then there is all the broken families that lead to kids being put into these failing programs in the first place

And while these kids committed these crimes and hold the bulk of the responsibility for the outcome, this is a good lesson for us all why firearms should be properly secured when we are not present.

This was a preventable situation on many levels. It lead to officers having to shoot a young teen to defend themselves and others. It is very likely they had no choice but I am sure that it will still haunt them for awhile.

Edit: edited the last paragraph to reflect that the 14 year old girl was not killed. One of the reports I saw implied she was.


I worked for a past well known Juvenile Dept of Justice Wilderness Program when it was still open here in Florida 2010. The teens ranged from 13-17years. I was with the females. The girls were literally hardened criminals. Most used drugs at a very early age. One was a runaway, stole a Lamborghini and prostituted. Another was a well known gang leader. They literally rioted and attacked the staff, literally assaulting them on one night to the point that a helicopter and dogs were sent out to find them in the woods. Many of them came from broken homes or in the system for years and years. We had no real authority over them besides “restraint” moves. No real discipline occurred against them. It was like over seeing a group of ticking time bombs. I said all that to say, these children are taught that is is a great way to live and it’s thrilling to attack authority…that there will be no real consequences. I could no longer work there after tirelessly doing my best to try and make a positive change with the young people. Administration would tie your hands against what they deemed offensive words or discipline all because they were youth. But if you do adult crimes, why not get adult time? Sad all around.


My parents fostered a bunch of troubled teens when I was younger. And I have worked briefly with some troubled youth groups in backcountry settings. They were a handful but nothing compared to what you were dealing with! I commend you for your efforts!

My parents were able to get a couple headed down slightly better paths but most didn’t want or didn’t know how to accept the help. Definitely don’t know the answer to these problems. They have gone on so long that they are now generationally perpetuated. Mostly lost people raising mostly lost kids in an increasingly lost society:(

I am always amazed and inspired by the hard working and lucky few that are able to rise above those circumstances.


@Jovan >>>Jovan >>> What will it take to change laws so the juveniles will be held accountable for their actions to include a better rehabilitation and educational programs that would cost taxpayers less in the long run. There was a armed car jacking in my neighborhood and they caught the kids that did it and, they were released in custody of their parents. Because of the job I had I worked in every state facility to include prisons and juvenile detention centers. To see juveniles with leg irons on shackled to the floor broke my heart. What changed ? Years back no matter how bad things were if you worked your ass off you could survive without a life of crime and drugs. We hear all kinds of excuses like substandard schooling bad neighborhoods and everything you could think of, I think that’s bullshit. The problem starts with people having children when they can’t even take care of themselves and, often times have more children to get more subsistence from the state. Not mention all the good organizations for kids like the YMCA YWCA 4-H Girl Scouts whatever that were destroyed by perverts.
Sorry but you got me going.


I myself have had a long history of some problematic issues in my youth and could have certainly went down the wrong path, very very quickly. No Father, my Mother was overwhelmed from raising 6 children, one was sent away; he was so bad. Dealt with homelessness…but I had amazing role models that spoke positive over me and took a chance with me, seeing my potential. I was wild enough to know I had self worth even if my circumstances said other wise. That also meant being a leader, not a follower. Enabling the negative behaviors creates a cycle of dysfunction that becomes generational.


No, thanks; great commentary. It got me thinking of the positive roles models that took a chance on me. Ive just tried to instill that into the youth today that will listen and act.


I think connecting kids to positive roll models before they get too far down the wrong path might be one of the keys. I know programs like big brothers/sisters etc. try to do that but not sure how affective or prevalent they are.