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article imageFlorida teen mistakes brother, 12, for intruder, shoots him dead

By JohnThomas Didymus     Mar 24, 2013 in Crime
Police say that a teenager mistakenly shot his 12-year-old brother and killed him at their home in Portafino Drive in the Nona Crest Subdivision in Orange County, Friday afternoon.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the shooting took place about 2:20 p.m. in the 9900 block of Portofino Drive in the Nonacrest subdivision.
WFTV reports that police authorities said the two brothers were home alone when the older brother suspecting that an intruder was inside the house grabbed a gun.
Orlando Police Department Detective Mike Moreschi, said: "He heard some noises and he called out for his brother and he didn't answer and so then his brother startled him."
Police said the 16-year-old had shot and hit his brother before he realized his mistake and called 911. The 12-year-old victim was rushed to Arnold Palmer Hospital where he died. Moreschi said: "He’s devastated, obviously. His parents are devastated by what happened and it’s just a really bad situation for the family."
According to the police, the 16-year-old will not be charged. However, the State Attorney's office will investigate the incident for possible negligence.
According to ABC News, the 16-year-old and his parents were taken to the police station for questioning and released later.
Police confirmed that the gun was owned legally.
Neighbors in the Nona Crest subdivision are shocked. WFTV reports that Julia Bracey said: "All I can say is it’s so scary. It’s heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what his parents are going through."
A neighbor Francis Ikwueme, said, "It cuts deep and it breaks my heart. There was the shooting up in Connecticut. Anytime young life or life in general has to be cut short senselessly, it’s a very unfortunate thing."
Orlando Sentinel reports that a neighbor Ana McKitterick, who has lived in the community for a year and who said her son used to ride the school bus to Lake Nona Middle School with the victim, said: "This is everybody's business because it's in our neighborhood." She added: "As a parent, it breaks your heart. It's very sad."
Ikwueme said: "My heart goes out to the family and I will keep them in my prayers."
It remains unclear how the 16-year-old gained access to the gun or where the gun was kept and whether it was locked up.
Neighbors said the family has lived in the community for less than a year.
It was the second time in a week in Orange County that minors have harmed themselves while handling guns, Orlando Sentinel reports.
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, on Wednesday, a 4-year-old from Pine Hills shot himself in the face in his home in the Los Robles Condominiums on Silver Star Road.
The boy was in a stable but critical condition. Later, doctors said he was expected to survive.
AP reports police have not named the brothers in the latest incident.
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