Florida Teen Dead, Two Others Charged, After Shooting Each Other in Body Armor
Police tape surrounds the scene of a shooting in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Matt Rourke/AP)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 09 April 2022 02:21 PM
One Florida teenager is dead, and two others are charged after shooting each other while wearing body armor, police said.
Belleview Police in Florida said that a group of teenagers were taking turns shooting at each other while wearing a vest containing a form of body armor at a residence around 7 p.m. April 3, when 17-year-old Joshua Vining shot Christopher Leroy Broad, 16, who was wearing the vest at the time.
Broad was struck in the chest and taken to the hospital where he died, police said.
Vining and another juvenile, Colton Whitler, 17, were arrested and charged by police following an investigation into the incident.
Vining is charged as an adult with aggravated manslaughter of a child with a firearm, and Whitler is charged with giving false information to police.
U.S. army veteran Joe Vanhouten, who lived next door to the mobile home in Gateway Homes, told Orlando television station WESH-2 that he saw the aftermath of the shooting.
"I saw a teenage boy come outside all hysterical screaming," Vanhouten told the station. "I was always taught from a young age you never play with guns."
Arrest affidavits obtained by the station said that the three teens were friends and lived in the home with one of the boys’ fathers at the time of the shooting.
The boys were home with some other friends hanging out prior to taking turns shooting at each other in the vest.
In the affidavits police said one of those in attendance took a Snapchat social media video of Broad shooting one of the other boys in the vest, then Broad himself being shot five times with a 9mm handgun.
The documents said that the boys had played this dangerous game before, but the bullets were stopped by the vest.
"It seems weird to me that they would have a body armor vest,” Vanhouten said. “Why would you have one?"
According to the report, one of the shots at Broad struck him in an area not covered by the vest.
The medical examiner listed the cause of death as a single gunshot to the chest, the station reported.
"I'm sure these kids never envisioned that a death was going to occur as a result of their behavior,” Dr. David Thomas, a forensics professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, told the station. "The biggest misnomer is that they're bullet proof because they're not. They're ballistic vests and they're rated on scales of what type of bullet they'll stop.”
The gun involved in the shooting was recovered through a search warrant on the home and is believed to belong to the father as home protection, according to the report.