DEBARY, Fla. – A 14-year-old boy who was arrested Thursday in DeBary stands accused of shooting a 20-year-old man after an attempted drug deal, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies identified the teen as Juan Calle Pallasco, who they said was not cooperative with their investigation and denied shooting the victim.
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According to sheriff’s officials, the victim approached deputies with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to one of his calves, saying Pallasco had shot him after he attempted to buy cannabis at a house on Estrella Road from a contact named “Juan.”
The victim provided deputies with a description of the car that Pallasco was later found in, along with two others, all of whom were detained, authorities said.
A search warrant at the property recovered a drum magazine, multiple rounds of ammunition and some cannabis plants, as well as a spent 9mm shell casing on the front porch where the victim said Pallasco stood when he was shot, according to deputies.
Pallasco was arrested on charges of attempted murder with a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm by a juvenile and violation of juvenile probation for a previous firearm charge in February, in which Pallasco allegedly showed off multiple guns in messages to other students at River Springs Middle School in Orange City, deputies said. At the Department of Juvenile Justice where Pallasco was held after this incident, his risk to reoffend was determined to be moderate; it was recommended then that a judge place Pallasco on probation, under a curfew and that he write a 250-word essay on “The Importance of Abiding By The Law,” a move chided by Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
“Our broken juvenile justice system that assigns lame essays and gives pats on the head is failing our community,” Chitwood said on Friday. “It’s time juveniles who want to act like adult criminals face real consequences for their actions.”