After breaking into a home, a 12- and 14-year-old open fire on deputies; one shooter is shot and wounded.
A 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl broke into a house Tuesday night in Enterprise, armed themselves with several of the homeowner’s guns, and opened fire on several responding deputies who attempted to talk them into surrendering.
The 14-year-old girl was shot and wounded after she emerged from her garage at 1050 Enterprise Osteen Road and pointed a shotgun at deputies standing outside. The 12-year-old boy, who was armed with an AK-47, eventually laid down his weapon and was uninjured.
Both children fired multiple times at deputies during the incident, which deputies attempted to resolve peacefully. There were no deputies injured.
The incident began with a report of two runaways from Florida United Methodist Children’s Home (51 Children’s Way, Enterprise), where Travis O’Brien (12, DOB 10/15/2008) and Nicole Jackson (14, DOB 2/8/2007) were reported missing shortly before 5 p.m. Deputies discovered that O’Brien is diabetic and was missing his medication. Jackson was also alleged to have struck a FUMCH staff member with a stick.
Deputies were searching the area when a passerby reported hearing glass break at 1050 Enterprise Osteen Road around 7:30 p.m. Deputies noticed two figures inside the house as they approached. They contacted the homeowner, who informed them that no one should be at home and that a handgun, a shotgun, and an AK-47 were located inside, along with a large quantity of ammunition.
The children began shooting after deputies surrounded the home and began making announcements inside. Around 8:30 p.m., Jackson, 14, fired her first shot at a sheriff’s sergeant out a back patio door. According to preliminary information, the children fired four times at deputies over the next 35 minutes before Jackson emerged from the garage, pointed the shotgun twice at deputies, and was shot and wounded.
After Jackson was shot, deputies rushed to his aid. O’Brien surrendered without firing another shot while he was in the garage armed with the AK-47.
Jackson was airlifted to Central Florida Regional Hospital in critical condition. She was later reported to have been discharged from surgery, stable, and transferred to another hospital for further treatment. O’Brien was also transported to CFR for treatment of a medical condition, not as a result of the incident’s injuries.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood told reporters outside the property’s gate during an 11:30 p.m. news conference that the sustained, armed assault on law enforcement by two children was “unlike anything I’ve ever seen in 35 years of policing.”
“Deputies did everything possible to de-escalate the situation tonight, and they came dangerously close to losing their lives to a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “Had it not been for their training and supervision… Someone would have died.”
“I’m not sure where we find the men and women who respond to these incidents, who do what they do with bravery, courage, and a commitment to protecting the sanctity of human life,” he said. “However, they took rounds – multiple, multiple rounds – until they were forced to retaliate.”
In 2020, the Sheriff’s Office responded to nearly 300 calls at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. A 14-year-old resident of the group home pleaded not guilty last month to manslaughter in connection with the death of a security officer he struck during an altercation in late March.
Sheriff Chitwood’s complete media briefing is available at the following Facebook link, and includes background information as well as the sheriff’s observations about Florida’s juvenile justice system:
The two juvenile defendants face pending charges. As is customary in deputy-involved shooting cases, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement responded to the scene to conduct an investigation into the incident. Additionally, the deputies involved will be placed on paid administrative leave for a period of time, as is customary.
All records pertaining to this case, including body camera video, are unavailable at the moment but will be made available in an upcoming update on Wednesday. Prior to issuing that comprehensive update, we are unlikely to respond to individual media requests.