ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando police say a 16-year-old accidentally shot and killed his 12-year-old brother Friday afternoon in a case of mistaken identity.
The shooting happened around 2:20 p.m. inside a home on Portofino Drive in Lake Nona's gated Nona Crest subdivision off Narcoossee Road.
"A 16-year-old and 12-year-old were home and there was a firearm in the house, and the 16-year-old feared that the place was being broken into. He fired a shot and it killed his brother," said Orlando homicide detective Mike Moreschi.
Orlando police have not released the names of the teenager or his brother citing the active investigation, but said the teenager will not face charges.
Moreschi calls this one of the toughest cases he's ever worked.
"He is devastated, obviously. His parents are devastated," said Moreschi.
Moreschi would not say where the teenager got the gun or who owns it, but did say it was legally owned.
As the family arrived home late Friday night, they asked for privacy.
"He heard some noises and called out for his brother and he didn't answer, and then his brother startled him," said Moreschi.
Police say once the 16-year-old realized what happened, he called 911.
The 12-year-old was rushed to Arnold Palmer hospital, but it was too late.
"It's just such a tragedy," said Julia Bracy, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years.
Bracy, like many people in the neighborhood, tell Local 6 it's a safe area. In fact, five law enforcement officers live on the same street where the shooting took place.
"Yeah, it makes me feel very safe, so when you hear something like this it is pretty scary," said Bracy.
"Everybody in Central Florida is on spring break. Kids are home alone, just like these kids," warned Detective Moreschi. "Everybody needs to secure their firearms and make sure that they are tucked away."
Even though detectives say the 16-year-old will not be charged, the State Attorney's Office will review this case to see if there was any negligence.
Failure to properly secure a firearm is a second degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days behind bars.
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