16-year-old killed when teens wearing body armor take turns shooting each other in Florida, police say

Belleview police arrest 2 teens in fatal shooting

Joshua Vining and Colton Whitler, both 17, who were arrested Thursday in connection with the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Christopher Leroy Broad Jr. (Belleview Police Department)

BELLEVIEW, Fla. – A 16-year-old boy was killed when he and another teen took turns shooting at each other while wearing a form of body armor, according to the Belleview Police Department.

The department said Joshua Vining and Colton Whitler, both 17, were arrested Thursday in connection with the fatal shooting of Christopher Leroy Broad Jr.

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Police said officers responded to the shooting around 7 p.m. Sunday in the 10400 block of SE 52nd Court, where they found the victim shot inside a residence. The department said the boy was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Officers said an investigation revealed Vining fatally shot Broad as the two were taking turns shooting at each other while wearing a vest containing “a form of body armor.”

According to the two teens’ arrest affidavits, an 18-year-old who was with the group — identified as Evan Vowell — recorded the shooting on his cell phone and turned over the footage to be used as evidence, police said. According to Vowell, Vining preceded the fatal shooting by showing him, Broad, Whitler and at least one other juvenile a 9mm gun and a vest, asking if they “had ever seen anyone get shot with a bullet proof vest on,” police said.

In the video, Broad is allegedly seen firing a single shot at Vining — who was wearing the vest — as Whitler stood nearby. After Broad and Vining switched roles, Vining shot Broad in the vest once, Broad nodded, and Vining then shot Broad four more times, police said.

Whitler, who police said was first interviewed as a witness, allegedly misled investigators with false information about the shooting, as well as about who shot Broad. According to the affidavits, Whitler first told dispatchers “my house just got shot up, my friend got shot in the chest,” stating he did not know how many suspects were involved. In a later interview with police, Whitler claimed that Broad was shot by Vowell. No evidence of the residence being shot was found, police said.

Vining faces a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child with a firearm, while Whitler is accused of providing false information to law enforcement. Both are being charged as adults, police said.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.