The 15-year-old boy who is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with an Aug. 7 shooting in West Boca called 911 after allegedly shooting at his friend nine times in what he said was self defense, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel is not naming the teen because he is a minor, and it has not been decided whether he will be charged as an adult. The victim’s name has been withheld under Marsy’s Law, a voter-approved constitutional amendment that allows crime victims and their families to shield identifying information from the public.
The teen called 911 shortly before noon on Aug. 7 from his home in the 6800 block of Bianchini Circle and said he “just killed someone” who entered his backyard, the affidavit said. He told the 911 operator that he believed the person, his friend, was breaking into his home.
When deputies arrived, the boy spoke about self defense and was detained. One of the deputies went into the backyard through the privacy fence and found the 18-year-old victim lying unresponsive on the back patio in the screened-in pool area, according to the affidavit. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined the victim died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The deputies found a Taurus G2C 9mm handgun outside with the magazine empty, “meaning the firearm was shot until it ran out of bullets,” the affidavit said. Nine spent casings were found in the patio area and pool.
Deputies reviewed surveillance video from the home’s backyard and text messages on the boy’s phone in their investigation, according to the affidavit. They found he and the victim had a “disagreement” the weekend before the shooting.
The teen texted his girlfriend shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 7 that he was “bout to deal” with the victim, the affidavit said. The boy sent several messages to the victim just before 11:30, including one message that said “Waiting on u doe” and another message with his address.
The victim’s girlfriend texted the boy that he was “taking this way outta proportion” and told him to “chill and “grow up,” the affidavit said. The minor boy texted a friend just minutes before the shooting that he would “have to (popcorn emoji)” the victim.
The victim and the minor boy talked on FaceTime at 11:52 a.m. Surveillance video recorded the boy walking out onto the patio near the pool about 11:52 a.m. while talking on the phone, the affidavit said.
He was heard saying, “Come to the backyard. Where you at?” the affidavit said. He was wearing a hoodie that appeared to have something bulky in the front pocket.
A minute later another security camera recorded the victim kicking the fence to enter the yard. He walked out of that camera’s view into the yard but could be heard saying the boy’s name. The victim was not seen with any weapon, the affidavit said.
Within seconds of the victim entering the yard, the minor boy walked out of his home into the patio area with the gun “extended,” the affidavit said. He shot once and said, “Watch out fam,” then shot multiple times toward the corner of the patio area, out of the camera’s view. Nine shots were heard on the video.
The boy after shooting the gun said, “I told you brudda,” “I told you fam” and “He came to my crib like a dumba–,” and called the victim a racial slur in other remarks, according to the affidavit.
Five seconds had passed between the time the victim entered the yard and the shooting began, the affidavit said. The boy told the 911 operator, “He came in my house, he went through the backyard, I shot him three times.”
He gave the operator the victim’s name and said “he has charges and stuff, I’m in the backyard and he was banging in it,” the affidavit said. Broward County, Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County court records do not show any criminal cases against the victim.
“He’s my best friend,” the boy said. “This is self-defense, ma’am this is self-defense, am I right?” the boy said in the 911 call, according to the affidavit. He also told deputies at the scene that the victim threatened to “kill him with his bare hands.”
The boy said his friend had pictures of guns on his social media and was “crazy” and wanted to fight him, according to the affidavit. He asked “if this was self-defense.”
Deputies said in the affidavit that the video “clearly shows” the boy “shooting first then advancing on the victim who was already shot.”
He is facing one count of first-degree murder with a firearm and one count of minor in possession of a firearm. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office announced earlier this week that the boy was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center to be processed.
The boy’s attorney information was not immediately available Friday afternoon.
The 18-year-old victim lived in the Coquina community of Coconut Creek, according to neighbors. They described the family as noticeably kind and quiet, though typically keeping to themselves, as most do in the neighborhood, since they moved in about 15 years ago.
William Beauparlant, a Hillsboro Beach Police officer who lives across the street from the victim’s family, had known the victim since the days he played outside as a kid. He said the victim’s family are the best neighbors he has had, the kind of people who always let him know when he has a package outside or move the garbage bin back to his house for him.
“They’re wonderful people,” he said. “The sweetest people.”
The victim was killed was a normal boy, Beauparlant said, or as normal as a boy can be growing up in “today’s world.” He described him as friendly, outgoing and always respectful. He was an older brother.
After the shooting and before the minor boy was taken into custody, Beauparlant said the victim’s father texted him, wondering how his son could be gone while the alleged shooter was still able to walk around freely.
Cheryl Karpata moved next door to the victim’s family two months after they moved in and has known them for 15 years, often speaking to them in the driveway or the street. She said she had nothing but nice things to say, describing them as “a really nice family.”