A teenager who accidentally shot his friend in the back Saturday evening at a Deltona park has been arrested on several charges, a social media release from the Volusia Sheriff's Office states.
Deputies responded to the shooting around 6:15 pm on Saturday. According to the Facebook post, the deputy on his way to the scene near Three Island Nature Park was flagged down by a driver and passenger in a car on Howland Boulevard near Candler Drive. The two were yelling for help, stating that the passenger was shot in the back.
Deputies provided first aid and applied a chest seal to the victim's back before an ambulance arrived and transported him to a hospital. As of publication, the victim was last reported as in critical but stable condition.
A short body cam clip of police response to the incident accompanies the post.
An investigation into the shooting revealed that the victim and 3 friends were sitting in the car at the nature park when Jeremie Cuevas, 17, who was sitting in the rear right passenger seat, got a gun out of his pocket and accidentally fired a shot through the front passenger seat and into the victim’s back.
According to the Volusia Sheriff's Office, Cuevas and another passenger ran away after the shooting, but deputies found Cuevas in Orange City and brought him in for an interview. The other passenger also returned to the Sheriff's Office to be interviewed.
"Cuevas was adamant that the shooting was an accident and that the gun went off when he was trying to take his cell phone out of the same pocket," the post notes. It continues to state that Cuevas discarded the gun after running from the vehicle and that the gun was not immediately located.
Cuevas was arrested and taken to the Volusia Family Resource Center for processing on several charges, including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed firearm, discharging a firearm in public, and improper exhibition of a firearm. He was later transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice to be held in custody.
Article by Rachael Volpe