Homeowner says children accused in shootout with Volusia deputies may have targeted his house

A.J. Bedizel says his daughters are traumatized over shooting at his Florida home

Investigators return to home in Enterprise following shootout between children and deputies
Investigators return to home in Enterprise following shootout between children and deputies (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ENTERPRISE, Fla. – A homeowner on Wednesday described coming home the night before to find out two children broke into his house and used his guns, including an AK-47, to open fire on Volusia County sheriff’s deputies, an incident he says has traumatized his daughters.

No deputies were injured in the shooting, but one of the alleged shooters, a 14-year-old girl, was struck in the chest when deputies returned fire, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

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The teen and a 12-year-old boy face felony charges of attempted first-degree murder of law enforcement officers and armed burglary.

The homeowner, A.J. Bedizel, told News 6 that he does not know the 14-year-old or the boy, who deputies say ran away from Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, a foster home, and broke into Bedizel’s home in Enterprise.

Sheriff’s officials said the duo used baseball bats to destroy furniture, toilets and a tub, and located Bedizel’s guns — an AK-47, a pump shotgun and a handgun, along with 200 rounds of ammunition. Bedizel said his guns were hidden and the magazines and ammo were in separate drawers so the children accused of breaking in had to search his home to find it all.

14-year-old girl injured in deputy-involved shooting in Volusia County, sheriff’s office says
14-year-old girl injured in deputy-involved shooting in Volusia County, sheriff’s office says

Bedizel, who says he was on a quick trip with two of his three daughters to a nearby Publix when his house was broken into. His 21-year-old daughter was with a friend, and no one was home during the break-in, he said.

Bedizel said when he returned, he and his daughters, 17 and 19, found their house surrounded by law enforcement. As he walked up, he said gunshots started to ring out. Chitwood said his deputies “took fire” for about 90 minutes, trying to de-escalate the situation, before being forced to return fire.

Bedizel said he has had not yet been let into his house but he was told that it sustained a lot of damage.

He said he’s not sure what he will do next.

“It was always our dream to have a little farm, but now it’s been violated and victimized,” Bedizel said.

Bedizel’s brother created an online GoFundMe fundraiser for the family with a goal of $15,000. According to the website, it’s unclear when he and his daughters will be able to return home.

Bedizel added that he thinks the suspects thought a deputy lived in the home because he has a sheriff’s star hanging from a window. He said the star was given to him in the 1990s when he saved a Brevard County deputy.

Clarification:News 6 originally decided to name and show pictures of the children due to the seriousness of the incident and the charges they are facing; however, we have made the decision to change course on naming them or showing pictures after learning of their mental health history.


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