2 youths arrested after being shot at Vero Beach apartment complex

Two teenagers were arrested after gunfire broke out in Palms of Vero Monday night, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said.

The two boys, aged 15 and 17, are charged, including the possession of a firearm by a delinquent. Your identity is withheld because of your age.

MPs received multiple calls about shots fired at 7:36 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. Witnesses reported that about two dozen shots were fired. Apartment Tropical Villas North, a neighboring complex, was hit by at least three stray grenades; one of them went into the living room of an inhabited apartment.

MPs arrived and found dozens of cartridges near mailboxes in the Palms of Vero complex, the sheriff’s office said. As he was answering, one MP noticed a white SUV traveling south and approaching at more than 50 mph on the Old Dixie Highway. But the SUV accelerated and hit oncoming traffic at over 70 mph.

The deputy was able to catch up with the SUV as it approached Highlands Drive, the sheriff’s office said. He noticed that the label was covered by a plastic bag. Upon seeing authorities, the suspected driver accelerated further to over 120 mph and fled to St. Lucie County.

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The video surveillance of the apartment complex showed that the SUV was entering the apartment complex shortly before the shooting, the sheriff’s office said. An anonymous source identified the first suspect as one of the shooters. He was found in a second vehicle with three other men. This vehicle was not involved in the St. Lucie County chase.

MPs said they found two pistols, a .40 caliber Springfield XD and a 9mm SCCY, clearly visible inside the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. The .40 caliber was stolen in a car break-in on November 24th. The car in question was unlocked.

Another suspect, a well-known burglar, admitted to owning the Springfield XD but denied firing it even though the rounds in the magazine matched the shell casings at the scene, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators tied the SCCY to the first suspect based on the gun’s location and evidence images. He also denied knowing about the shooting. although there were also used casings that matched his firearm.

Both suspects were arrested on Monday evening around 8 p.m. and later taken to the youth welfare office.

The shooting incident is still under investigation and the search for the SUV is ongoing. Anyone with a video of the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s office and ask for Det. Clerk at 772-569-6700.

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