Two frantic calls came into 911 after an 11-year-old reportedly shot his friend to death inside a Lake City home.
The family of 14-year-old Jadon Vaugn said their final goodbyes at his funeral this week.
His 11-year-old friend is now in a juvenile detention facility, charged with manslaughter.
The 911 calls Action News Jax got from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reveal that, after the shooting, the 11-year-old suspected shooter and his 13-year-old brother called their father first.
Then the 13-year-old brother called 911.
The boys’ father called 911 while he was driving to the house, 22 seconds later.
The first words the suspected shooter’s older brother said to dispatchers were reportedly a lie: “This kid came over and with a knife, so my brother knew what my dad had. He had a gun. So, he shot him on accident. He’s laying on our floor.”
The boys’ father called 911 seconds later.
“My son called me. He was screaming, crying, said he shot his friend because he came at him with a knife,” said the father.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said the brothers later admitted they placed a kitchen knife in Jadon Vaughn’s hand after the shooting because they thought they would be in less trouble.
“Of course, we don’t know what precipitated a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old placing a knife in the hand,” said Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson. “That is extraordinarily odd.”
The sheriff’s office said the boys told investigators they were play-wrestling to see if the family dog would respond.
Then the 11-year-old reportedly got a gun from a dresser in his father’s room, took out the magazine and pointed it at Jadon.
“So they were messing around... [redacted]... my brother, like, dead serious. And my brother didn’t know what to do so he ran in my dad’s room and... [redacted]... shot him because he didn’t know one was in the chamber, and he didn’t know he hit the trigger,” said the suspected shooter’s older brother to the 911 dispatcher.
During that call, he tried to protect his younger brother.
“Blame it on me. I don’t want him to go to jail,” said the 13-year-old.
The sheriff’s office said the boys’ father and girlfriend left them home alone with Jadon, with two guns in a dresser.
Figuring out who owns those unsecured guns will be crucial to the State Attorney’s Office’s decision on whether more charges are coming in this case.
Florida law requires gun owners to use a gun lock, keep a gun in a locked container, or carry it on their body if there are kids in their home.
The penalties get worse if a child gets hold of it or if someone is killed.
After the 911 dispatcher asks the suspected shooter’s father where the gun is in the house, he indicates the gun belongs to him:
“Where’s my-- where’s the gun at?” said the father.
Twenty seconds later, he again indicates the gun is his.
“Where’s my gun at?” said the boys’ father.
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