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DeLand police say 13-year-old accidentally shot teen girl

Witnesses, victim were not truthful at first, police chief says

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DeLAND, Fla. – A 13-year-old boy was charged this week for accidentally shooting a 15-year-old girl in November, officials with the DeLand Police Department said. The arrest comes after police said witnesses and the victim were not originally truthful about the shooting.

The teen girl was shot on Nov. 18 at 900 Sherwood Drive while on the front porch hanging out with some friends. The bullet went through her wrist and into her stomach. She is recovering and the wound was non-life-threatening, police said.

After the shooting, police said no one at the scene would give a witness statement. The victim first told detectives the shot came from the woods.

Authorities said eventually the 15-year-old victim and other witnesses cooperated with the investigation. Police later learned a 13-year-old boy was with the victim and showed her and others the gun before accidentally firing the weapon, police said. The weapon was later found in the dining room cabinet inside the house where the victim had been shot, according to the report.

The suspect did apologize to the girl before leaving, according to witnesses.

"We're here to help our residents and keep them safe," DeLand police Chief Jason Umberger said. "If you witness a crime, it is always right to tell the truth immediately to police. Lying or misleading the police about a criminal investigation could result in a witness potentially being arrested."

The suspect is charged with carrying a concealed firearm, discharging a firearm in public and possession of a firearm by a minor. He turned himself in to the Department of Juvenile Justice.