In handcuffs and with none of his family around, the boy sat alone quietly in the corner of the courtroom, accused of shooting a girl in the chest.
The 15-year-old Crystal Lake Middle School student appeared before Broward Circuit Judge Michael Orlando on Tuesday, facing one count of aggravated battery in the Memorial Dayshooting of Jolessica Williams, also 15, of Fort Lauderdale.
An arrest report does not say how the boy managed to obtain a gun and sheds no light on whether the Pompano Beach shooting was accidental. Still, the boy told investigators he found the gun and admitted to shooting the girl, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Dani Moschella.
The boy, charged with one count of aggravated battery, is expected to return to court Monday. The Sun Sentinel is not identifying him because of his age.
According to a sheriff’s report, the girl was shot as she stood on the porch of a house in the 1500 block of Northwest Eleventh Circle about 5:30 p.m. Monday. Williams was there with the boy who shot her and two other teenagers, including a 14-year-old relative.
At some point before the shooting, one teen warned the boy about the gun, Moschella said. “He told him, ‘Don’t you watch the news? That’s dangerous,’” she said.
Officials said the boy allegedly told Williams he was going to shoot one of her breasts.
Despite suffering a gunshot to the upper left torso region, Williams is expected to recover.
Pompano Beach paramedics treated her, and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue took her by helicopter to Broward Health Medical Center, where she remained hospitalized Tuesday.
At Tuesday’s court hearing, officials said the young shooting suspect was on probation, but didn’t say what led to the probation.
Gordon Weekes, Broward County's chief assistant public defender, said it was too early to comment about the boy's case.
He said his young client’s family wanted to appear in court in support but couldn’t afford to be there.
State records show that in January this year, the boy pleaded no contest to robbery. But adjudication was withheld, meaning no conviction was recorded in that case. Since 2010, the boy also has been charged with of burglary and vehicle theft, the records show. The outcome of those cases weren’t available.
Monday’s shooting was the second time in less than a week that a middle-schooler was shot by another teenager in South Florida.
On Friday, D’Angelo Marte, 12, was shot on the leg at his school at Redland Middle School in Southwest Miami-Dade. Witnesses told police D’Angelo was shot when a classmate brought a gun to school in his backpack. The backpack fell on the floor and the gun went off.
Marte returned home Monday, while the other boy was expected to make a court appearance this week.