Florida Boy in Shootout With Deputies Sentenced to Maximum-Risk Juvenile Facility

March 24, 2022Carl Prine

Volusia County sheriff’s deputies in Florida move in to arrest a 12-year-old boy and a wounded 14-year-old girl following a 90-minute standoff on June 1, 2021. Screenshot via Volusia Sheriff’s Office video.

A runaway Florida boy who got into a shootout with Volusia County sheriff’s deputies in summer 2021 has been sentenced to incarceration in a maximum-risk juvenile facility.

Coffee or Die Magazine doesn’t identify juvenile offenders unless they’re tried as adults. Prosecutors said the boy, now 13, and a teenage girl traded rounds with eight deputies on June 1, 2021. The standoff lasted roughly 90 minutes and didn’t end until Nicole Jackson, now 15, was shot and wounded by one of the law enforcement officers.

She’s been charged as an adult for her alleged role in escaping with the boy from the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Enterprise and breaking into a nearby house where the two armed themselves with a shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle styled like an AK-47, a handgun, and 200 rounds of ammunition they found inside the residence.

Florida boy
An aerial view of a June 1, 2021, standoff between Volusia County sheriff’s deputies in Enterprise, Florida, and a pair of heavily armed juvenile runaways. Screenshot via Volusia Sheriff’s Office video.

Deputies responded to the juvenile home breakout to save the life of the boy. He suffers from diabetes and requires insulin every four hours. For their efforts, they were greeted with a hail of gunfire.

“I cannot imagine how hard it was for the deputies who have children that age,” Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood told reporters a day after the gunfight. “I don’t know what the residual effects are for the rest of their careers, but nobody comes to work to shoot anybody. We certainly don’t come to work to get in gunfights with 12- and 14-year-olds.”

Chitwood termed the pint-sized shooters “little desperadoes,” and his anger over the gun battle sparked a nationwide debate over how the juvenile criminal justice system houses and rehabilitates youngsters capable of committing shocking acts of violence.

During a brief hearing before 7th Judicial Circuit Judge Linda L. Gaustad in DeLand, Wednesday, March 23, the boy pleaded “no contest” to juvenile charges that included attempted murder of law enforcement officers, burglary, and criminal mischief.

enterprise, florida, shootout with juveniles
The flash of a rifle, right, can be seen as three deputies target a 14-year-old girl who had shot at them during a confrontation June 1, 2021, in Enterprise, Florida. One of the girl’s rounds had just shattered the driver’s side window of the parked car. Volusia Sheriff’s Office image.

After the hearing, criminal defense attorney Jeff Deen told reporters his client was just a “tiny little boy” who’d suffered from a great many problems in his young life before he “got into a big mess.”

But Deen also lauded Chitwood’s deputies for their measured restraint during the standoff and pointed to the horror they felt about being forced to fire at kids. Authorities said the deputies fired 66 rounds at the runaways.

One of those deputies, Sgt. Don Maxwell, stood in the Florida courtroom Wednesday. The lawman told the boy he forgave him, but he also challenged the kid to become “the person I know you can be.”

“You have a big heart,” Maxwell said. “You have a long life ahead of you. And know that I do forgive you, okay? I will say a prayer for you every day.”

During last year’s standoff, Maxwell’s body-worn camera captured him whispering to himself, “Don’t make me do this. Don’t do this.”

Under Florida law, the length of the boy’s stay in a Department of Juvenile Justice maximum-risk residential facility is conditional. Depending on his assessment and his progress toward rehabilitation, he might remain incarcerated for only a few years.

In some cases, however, youths remain in the program until they turn 18, and then authorities move them into an adult prison population.

Read Next: California Man Accused of Assaulting DC Cops Becomes Political Refugee in Belarus

Carl Prine
Carl Prine

Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Coffee Or Die Photo
From the Team Room to Team Room Design: An Operator’s Creative Journey

BRCC partners with Team Room Design for an exclusive T-shirt release!

Coffee Or Die Photo
Get Your Viking On: The Exclusive 30 Sec Out BRCC Shirt Club Design

Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.

Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2024 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved