DeBary, FL - A 14-year-old is facing an attempted murder charge after deputies say he shot a man trying to buy marijuana in DeBary.
The suspect, who the Volusia Sheriff’s Office (VSO) has identified as Juan Calle Pallasco, is also facing charges for unlawful possession of a firearm by a juvenile—his second such offense—and violation of juvenile probation for a previous firearm possession charge in February.
The VSO learned of the shooting around noon Thursday (Nov. 11), when the 20-year-old male victim told deputies he was shot outside of an Estrella Road home after he attempted to purchase marijuana there from a known contact named Juan. The victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his right calf.
The victim additionally described a silver Chevrolet Silverado that the suspect who shot him was riding in. 20 minutes after the call came, deputies spotted the truck on Highbanks Road and stopped it, detaining the juvenile suspect along with two other male occupants the victim had described.
Investigators say Pallasco was not cooperative and denied shooting the victim.
A search warrant executed on the Estrella home yielded a drum magazine, several rounds of ammunition, and some marijuana plants. Deputies also discovered a spent 9mm shell casing on the front porch where the victim said Pallasco was standing when he shot him.
Pallasco has since been taken into custody and remains at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach. According to the VSO, Pallasco’s prior charges as a juvenile include battery, criminal mischief, unlawful possession of a firearm by a juvenile, child neglect, operating a vehicle without a license and violation of probation.
Pallasco’s firearm charge in February stemmed from an Instagram video in which he and two other minors showed off multiple firearms in a message over tensions with other students at River Springs Middle School in Orange City.
The charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a juvenile is a misdemeanor, and a DJJ assessment determined his risk to re-offend was moderate, per an email from VSO. The sheriff’s office says the DJJ recommended a judge place him on probation, with a curfew, and an assigned 250-word essay on “The Importance of Abiding By The Law.”
“Our broken juvenile justice system that assigns lame essays and gives pats on the head is failing our community,” Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. “It’s time juveniles who want to act like adult criminals face real consequences for their actions.”
Sheriff Chitwood is expected to address the public about the incident later on Friday (Nov. 12). We will pass along updates as they come.