12-year-old boy chased, shot at man in Orlando, police say

Joseph Smith arrested on attempted murder charges

Local 6: Morning News at 6a
Local 6: Morning News at 6a

ORLANDO, Fla. – A 12-year-old boy was arrested in Orlando late Thursday, accused of chasing a 25-year-old man down a street and firing shots at him while yelling a homophobic slur.

According to arrest documents, Joseph Smith was arrested on attempted murder charges in the shooting, which occurred around 11:55 p.m. near Church Street and Rio Grande Avenue near the Citrus Bowl.

According to Orlando police, the man told officers that the boy chased him and fired several shots at him while saying, "I'm going to kill you, (expletive)."

"Because of his sexuality, I guess he didn't like him," an eyewitness told Local 6 Friday. "That's why he tried to hurt him."

The witness asked Local 6 to conceal his identity in fear of retaliation.

He thinks the boy should also be charged with a hate crime because the male victim had long hair, was carrying a purse, and was dressed as a woman.

"People should be able to walk up the street and do whatever they want to do without being harassed by someone," he said.

Orlando police said several shell casings were found in the area, along with a stolen gun in some nearby bushes.

Smith was located nearby and was arrested on charges of attempted murder and grand theft of a firearm.

"This kid is probably going to be taken off the streets for awhile and I feel sorry for his parents," the witness said. "I just hope that this will be a lesson learned for him."

The boy lives with his grandmother a few blocks from where the shooting happened.

No one was hurt in the shooting. 

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