It’s not a typical way to spend a lazy Sunday, and for a handful of boys in Belleview, Fla. their afternoon’s pastime turned deadly.
Police in Belleview, about 110 kilometres north of Orlando, received a call about a shooting late on the afternoon of April 3. When officers arrived at a residence, they found Christopher Broad Jr., who had been shot. He was rushed to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Four days later, Broad’s friend Joshua Vining was arrested for aggravated manslaughter of a child with a firearm, and another friend, Colton Whitler, was arrested for providing false information to police. Both boys are 17 years old.
During the investigation, police discovered evidence proving that Vining shot and killed Broad, 16, as the two were taking turns shooting at each other while wearing a vest that contained a form of body armour.
According to Click Orlando, 18-year-old Evan Vowell recorded the shooting on his cellphone and turned over the footage to be used as evidence.
Police said Vowell told police Vining first showed him, Broad, Whitler and at least one other juvenile a 9mm gun and a vest, asking if they “had ever seen anyone get shot with a bullet proof vest on.”
In the video, the website says, Broad is seen allegedly firing a single shot at Vining — who was wearing the vest — as Whitler stood nearby. Broad and Vining changed spots and Vining shot Broad in the vest once, Broad nodded, and Vining then shot Broad four more times, police said.
Whitler, who was initially interviewed as a witness to the shooting, lied about what took place and about who shot Broad.
The medical examiner’s office said the cause of Broad’s death was a single gunshot wound to the chest and the manner of death was listed as homicide, according to a probable cause affidavit, CNN reported. The affidavit also says when police arrived, they found Vining doing CPR on Broad.
Whitler first told dispatchers “my house just got shot up, my friend got shot in the chest,” stating he did not know how many suspects were involved. In his police interview, however, Whitler claimed Broad was shot by Vowell. No evidence of the residence being shot up was found, police said.
Vining and Whitler are both being charged as adults.