Florida Homeless camps Drug Shooting

Two 16-year-old boys looking for meth in a homeless camp set off a gunfight that ended with one of them killed, deputies say. Street View image from June 2022. © 2023 Google

PENSACOLA, Florida– A 16-year-old boy, who was armed and allegedly searching for methamphetamine, was involved in a gunfight at a homeless camp in Pensacola, Florida.

The incident occurred on May 26 and resulted in the fatal shooting of the teenager.

According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, the killing was deemed justified. The identity of the teenager has not been disclosed.

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“It was determined that the deceased 16-year-old and another 16-year-old accomplice were in possession of firearms and had attempted to buy methamphetamine at a homeless camp,” the sheriff’s office said in a June 2 news release.

“Upon being told that no one at the homeless camp had any methamphetamines to sell, the two 16-year-olds pointed their firearm at two victims, threatening to steal their belongings.

At this time, another male was called upon to assist the two victims.”

Witnesses said the teens pointed their guns at the third man, leading to “an exchange of gunfire,” officials said.

One teen was critically wounded and died at a hospital, officials said.

He was found by deputies responding to calls about “a shots fired disturbance” at the camp, which sits across the street from The Alfred-Washburn Center.

The center is a nonprofit that offers meals, showers and other services to “the homeless and poorer members of our community.”

“Further investigation determined that the third male acted in self-defense, resulting in a portion of the investigation being ruled as stand your ground,” the sheriff’s office said.

The surviving teen involved in the incident has been accused of committing aggravated assault with a firearm, which ultimately resulted in the death of the 16-year-old.

As a result, he is facing charges of third-degree felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, two counts of deadly missiles, and carrying a firearm, according to officials.