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Valdosta Police Department arrests juvenile for shooting 12-year-old

Incident occurred Tuesday
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Posted at 10:59 AM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 20:03:37-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — A 16-year-old has been arrested for second degree murder after shooting a 12-year-old in Valdosta.

According to a report from the Valdosta Police Department, officers responded to a residence in the 1000 block of North Lee Street and found a 12-year-old male inside with a gunshot wound to the head.

Through the investigation, officers determined that the victim and a 16-year-old acquaintance has been breaking into vehicles throughout the night and the pair has stolen several firearms.

After returning to the 16-year-old's residence, the juveniles were "playing" with the handguns and, while the 16-year-old was holding a gun, it discharged, shooting the victim in the head, reports stated.

Detectives recovered six firearms, five of which were determined to be stolen.

The 16-year-old was taken without incident and is at a Regional Youth Detention Center.

Along with felony second degree murder, the 16-year-old is also being charged with felony second degree cruelty to children, three counts of felony theft by entering auto, felony possession of a firearm by a minor, and felony tampering with evidence.

“We are saddened by this tragic event that should not have happened. Our thoughts are with these two families whose lives have been changed forever in just a couple of seconds. I am proud of the dedicated work by our officers and detectives who continued to stay focused in light of the tragedy,” said VPD Chief Leslie Manahan.