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13-year-old 'hardened criminal' shoots cop. 'He has no regard for life. None. Zero,' outspoken Florida Sheriff Grady Judd says.
Image source: Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office

13-year-old 'hardened criminal' shoots cop. 'He has no regard for life. None. Zero,' outspoken Florida Sheriff Grady Judd says.

A 13-year-old "hardened criminal" shot a police officer Wednesday in Lakeland, Florida, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Judd said the young male suspect has "no regard for life. None. Zero," the Associated Press reported.

What are the details?

The 13-year-old exchanged gunfire with police during a chase through a residential neighborhood, the AP said, wounding one officer and ending up hospitalized after being shot himself.

Officers responded to reports of a drive-by shooting at a park, the outlet said, adding that Officer Jamie Smith saw the suspect’s vehicle and pursued it. Soon the three occupants in the car jumped out and fled, the AP said, citing Police Chief Sam Taylor.

Image source: Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office

Taylor added that Smith saw the 13-year-old running down a sidewalk next to an apartment complex and carrying a firearm; the teen went into the complex despite being commanded to stop, the outlet said.

Sheriff Judd said during a Thursday news conference that the 13-year-old turned and fired three times at the officer with a stolen gun.

Image source: Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office

The AP said the officer was struck in the left foot and returned fire, but the teen fled, according to Chief Taylor.

Smith called for backup and continued chasing the teen, the outlet said, adding that while Smith lost sight of him, other officers spotted him hiding in bushes.

The teen tried to flee and got into a gun battle with officers, during which he was shot in the lower extremities and taken to Tampa General Hospital, the AP said, citing Taylor. No other officers were injured, the outlet added.

Police said Smith is expected to be released from a hospital in coming days, the AP said, adding that police want prosecutors to charge the 13-year-old as an adult.

The 13-year-old was arrested in January following a car burglary and had a stolen handgun at that time, Judd said, according the outlet.

“He has no regard for life. None. Zero,” Judd added, the AP noted.

"Even though his chronological age is 13, he's a hardened criminal who will shoot you — because if you'll shoot the cops, you'll shoot anybody," the outspoken sheriff added during his news conference.

Anything else?

Besides the 13-year-old suspect, two other male suspects were identified, ages 19 and 14, Judd said at his news conference, adding that all three have gang affiliations and were on active probation and were "looking for somebody to kill" Wednesday afternoon.

"They're dangerous felons," Judd added.

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