A 14-year-old has been arrested and charged in connection to a shooting in early January.
Just before 1 PM on January 8, 2023, the Tampa Police Department received a call for service to a home on the 2600 block of E 111th Ave. The caller advised that a young male had been shot and needed medical attention.
Upon arrival, officers immediately discovered a 12-year-old male who had been struck by gunfire. He was later declared deceased. Another 15-year-old male was located with a wound to his mouth and transported to a local hospital.
The injuries sustained to both juveniles were later determined to have come from a single bullet that traveled through the deceased victim and struck the other juvenile in the mouth.
After conducting extensive interviews with multiple juvenile witnesses who were present at the time of the shooting, it was learned that one of the juveniles brought a firearm into the home. Multiple juveniles had been arming themselves with the firearm, displaying it in a reckless manner, and at times, pointing the firearm at one another for fun.
Detectives learned that the two juveniles shot were in a bedroom when Demetrae Miller, 14, armed himself with the firearm and approached the other juveniles in the home. Miller pointed the firearm at the victims and fired the gun. The projectile struck the deceased victim in the back of his head. The same bullet that traveled through him went on to strike the living victim in his mouth.
During a post-Miranda interview with Miller, he admitted to the offense, saying he thought the firearm was unloaded when he pointed it at the victims. Miller was arrested on Monday, January 30. He is facing one count of felony manslaughter with a weapon.
"This is a tragic reminder of the fact that it is essential for gun owners to practice safe storage of firearms. Had these juveniles not had easy access to guns in the home, a young man would still be alive today," said Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw. "It is critical for parents, guardians, and gun owners to ensure that firearms are stored in a place that is inaccessible to children, out of sight, and locked at all times."
The Tampa Police Department's "Project Locked and Unloaded" offers free gunlocks at any district office listed below. Gun owners are urged to use the program to properly safeguard their firearms.
3818 W Tampa Bay Blvd
Tampa, FL 33614
9330 N 30th St
Tampa, FL 33612
3808 N 22nd St
Tampa, FL 33610