In a devastating turn of events on Christmas Eve, a 14-year-old boy is accused of fatally shooting his older sister in Largo, Florida, following a heated family argument over Christmas presents. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri revealed the shocking details during a press conference.
The dispute erupted after the teenage brothers, who had been shopping with their family, clashed over the perceived inequality in their Christmas presents. The tension escalated at their grandmother’s house, where they had gathered for her to babysit the sister’s children.
“They had this family spat about who was getting what and what money was being spent on who, and they were having this big thing going on in this store,” Gualtieri said.
Inside the residence, the 14-year-old allegedly brandished a semiautomatic handgun, threatening his brother with a headshot. The older sibling, preferring to avoid confrontation, urged his brother to leave. The situation was diffused briefly by an uncle, who separated the teens.
“‘You all need to leave that stuff alone,'” Baldwin said to her brother, according to Gualtieri. “‘Why you trying to start it? It’s Christmas.'”
However, matters took a tragic turn when the 14-year-old, outside the house with his sister and her baby, directed derogatory words towards her before fatally shooting her in the chest at approximately 1:45 p.m. local time. Miraculously, the baby in the carrier remained unharmed.
In a retaliatory act, the 15-year-old brother emerged with his own semiautomatic handgun, shooting the younger teen in the stomach. Fleeing the scene, he discarded the weapon in a nearby yard. Law enforcement apprehended the wounded 14-year-old at a relative’s residence.
Abrielle Baldwin, the 23-year-old sister, succumbed to her injuries after being rushed to the hospital. The bullet had traversed her left arm, entering her chest and causing severe internal injuries. Tragically, she could not survive the resulting complications.
The 14-year-old, undergoing surgery, is now in stable condition at the hospital. He faces charges of first-degree murder, child abuse, and being a delinquent in possession of a firearm. Authorities await a decision from the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office regarding whether he will be charged as an adult.
Conversely, the 15-year-old brother has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. Both teens have a history of prior arrests related to car burglaries, adding a troubling dimension to this heartbreaking family tragedy.
“These young kids — 14, 15 years old — routinely carry firearms and this is what happens when you got young delinquents that carry guns,” Gualtieri said. “They get upset, they don’t know how to handle stuff, and they end up shooting each other.”