Volusia County bodycam and virtual court hearing footage.
Troubled children use stolen firearms in shootout with police.

Two children, a 12-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl, ran away from a children’s home, broke into a house, stole several firearms, and opened fire on Florida police on June 1, 2021. Among the firearms stolen were a handgun, shotgun, AK-47, and 200 rounds of ammunition.

Bodycam footage released by Volusia County police shows the chilling shootout, where the two foster children repeatedly fired at deputies from within the house. No officers returned fire. The standoff lasted about 30 minutes before the 14-year-old went outside and threatened deputies with a pump shotgun.

“We try to deescalate, we throw a cell phone into the house to try to talk to them. The 14-year-old comes out of the garage with a pump shotgun, levels it at deputies, and despite warnings to drop it, she walks back into the garage. She comes back a second time, and that’s when deputies open fire,” Volusia County Sheriff Chitwood said.

After warnings to drop the shotgun and shots from an AK-47 wielded by the 12-year-old, officers opened fire. The 14-year-old girl was shot in her abdomen and arm. Half a minute later, the boy was surrounded and surrendered. In the arrest affidavit, the boy said he was trying to reload the AK-47 before surrendering.

Officers provided medical aid to the girl and took her to Central Florida Regional Hospital, where she is now in stable condition. Reportedly, neither the boy nor deputies were injured in the shootout.

“At 8:28, one of my sergeants who was the first to arrive, Sgt. Donnie Maxwell, takes fire multiple times, never returns fire. At 8:31, one of our units reports they’re being fired at by the 12- and the 14-year-old. At 8:33, another call comes out from another group of deputies surrounding the home saying that shots were fired. At 8:40, the 14-year-old emerges from the property and threatens to kill Sgt. Maxwell. At 8:54, the juvenile male, armed with an AK-47, opens fire on deputies,” Sheriff Chitwood said.

The two children ran away from Florida United Methodist Children’s Home around 5pm on Tuesday, according to Volusia County Sheriff Chitwood. Deltona deputies were immediately dispatched to find the children, as the 12-year-old is insulin-dependent. Around 8pm, neighbors reported a break-in at A.J. Bedizel’s house.

When contacted, Bedizel said that, “Nobody should be home, but I have three firearms in the house–an AK-47, a pump shotgun and a handgun–and 200 rounds of ammunition.”

Bedizel later said that his guns were hidden, and the magazines and ammo were in separate drawers. Apparently, the two suspects had to search his home to find firearms and ammunition. While doing so, they used baseball bats to destroy furniture, toilets, and a tub.

According to an interview with ClickOrlando, Bedizel suspects the children broke in because he had a sheriff’s star hanging from a window. He also said he did not know either child.

Charges and Court Order

Last Thursday, the 12-year-old boy appeared before Judge Michael Orfinger on charges of armed burglary and attempted murder of law enforcement officers. The court appearance, which was virtual, consisted of a court order for the boy to be held in secure detention for 21 days or until the next court order.

The boy is to be arraigned on June 23.

Mental Health History

The 12-year-old boy has mental health issues dating back at least five years, according to records from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. At the age of 7, he was hospitalized threes times over 10 days under the Baker Act.

According to a report, the then 7-year-old heard voices in his head. They told him to do good and bad things, which he did in hopes of making them stop. It is unclear whether he still does.

Criminal History and Comments

This shootout isn’t the 14-year-old’s first brush with the law.

“The 14-year-old was arrested for stealing dogs, for larceny, she then got teen court, and was sentenced to a halfway house in Flagler County,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “She burned that halfway house down on April 10 of 2021 and the Department of Juvenile Justice placed her in Florida United Methodist Children’s Home.”

She was also noted to reference the video game Grand Theft Auto, apparently saying, “I’m gonna roll this down like GTA.”