Pair flees juvenile home, engages in gunbattle with deputies

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy fled from a Florida juvenile home and broke into a house, where they found a small arsenal — a shotgun, an AK-47 and plenty of ammunition. When confronted by sheriff’s deputies, the pair opened fire, sparking a gunbattle.

The gunfire ceased only after deputies wounded the girl, who was in critical but stable condition Wednesday, a day after the violence unfolded near Deltona, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Orlando. The boy then surrendered.

The juveniles fired at deputies from the house multiple times over 45 minutes, a visibly angry Sheriff Mike Chitwood told a news conference Tuesday evening.

“They were traversing the length of that house and opening fire on deputies from different angles,” Chitwood said. “They were out on the pool deck. They shot from the bedroom window. They shot from the garage door.”

Deputies tried to calm the situation and eventually returned fire. The sheriff said it was unlike anything he had seen in 35 years in policing.

“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,” the sheriff said. “If it wasn’t for their training and their supervision … somebody would have ended up dead.”

Charges were pending against both juveniles. The sheriff’s office released their names, but The Associated Press is not using the names because of their age.

The deputies involved were put on…

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