Three teenagers, all of them known to law enforcement and none of them older than sixteen, are facing charges after bringing loaded guns into a Publix grocery store in Pasco County, Florida, and posting a Snapchat video where they showed off the guns in one of the store’s bathrooms.
On Tuesday, law enforcement was forwarded the Snapchat video, which showed three teens holding the firearms and racking the slides.
They quickly converged on the teens in the dairy section of the supermarket.
Whoever notified law enforcement when they saw the Snapchat video, good job. Seriously. This wasn’t a case of a kid at a range shooting under adult supervision and someone online freaking out about it. As I mentioned, all three of the teens taken into custody have been arrested before, and for some pretty serious crimes.
One teen was found to have a firearm completely concealed on his person. He said he got it from a “friend” and thought about throwing the gun and running from law enforcement. He also told deputies he was thinking about tossing the gun in a trash can. This teen had prior convictions for battery on a law enforcement officer, grand theft, and grand theft motor vehicle. He was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and delinquent in possession of a firearm.
The second suspect had a single round of ammunition in his backpack, which is a no-no given the fact that he has a prior conviction for aggravated assault with a firearm. He’s now facing charges of being a delinquent in possession of ammunition as well as a couple of other lesser charges.
And then there’s Suspect #3.
Earlier that day, the third teen is accused of breaking into a car, stealing a passport, driver’s license, gas card and two credit/debit cards. He is also accused of stealing a gun from another vehicle in Saddlebrook. Deputies say that stolen gun was found concealed in his waistband under his jacket at the Publix. He was arrested for 2 counts of auto burglary, theft of a firearm, theft of a credit card, delinquent in possession of a firearm, and carrying a concealed firearm.
Mom and Dad must be so proud.
I’d love to say that these three are going to be in a world of trouble, but honestly, they’ll likely get another slap on the wrist and be sent on their way, at least if they’re charged as juveniles. Again, none of the three are older than 16, but you’ve already got a kid who’s been through the system on an aggravated assault with a firearm charge, and another who’s been convicted of batter of a law enforcement officer and grand theft auto and is back on the streets. Perhaps the fact that these teens are repeat offenders will cause them to spend a little more time in the juvenile justice system, but I kind of doubt it. Chances are these three punks will be back out on the streets and in grocery store bathrooms before much time has passed at all.