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12-year-old among juveniles charged in series of Florida homicides

Two of the three juveniles charged with murder have been caught. Sheriff Billy Woods said the suspects are gang members.
Marion County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 12:09 PM, Apr 07, 2023

A 12-year-old boy is among three juveniles charged in connection to three homicides in Marion County, Florida, authorities announced Friday. 

The department said two of the three suspects were in custody as of Friday morning. Scripps News Tampa reported that the two juveniles in custody are ages 12 and 17. A 16-year-old remains on the loose.

The three homicides were reported from March 30 through April 1. 

The first incident was reported the night of March 30. A teenage girl was found with a gunshot wound, Sheriff Billy Woods said. Woods said a second victim with a fatal gunshot wound was found a half-mile away along the side of a road.  

A third victim was found dead April 1 in the trunk of a car submerged in a pond. 

Woods said all three suspects are members of a gang, but added that he does not believe the victims were part of a rival gang. 

“This group of juveniles were involved in committing burglaries and robberies, which they referred to as a ‘lick,’” Woods said. “There is no honor among thieves. And at some point, these three individuals turned on our three victims and murdered them.”

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Woods said the suspects fled the scenes but “left a lot of evidence in their wake.”

He said the suspects were able to access the guns through car burglaries. 

“All the gun laws we got in place didn't prevent it, did it? Neither will any new ones. Because here's the fact, the bad guy is going to get a gun no matter what law you have put in place,” Woods said. “These juveniles shouldn’t even possess a handgun. But they did.”