LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Family members are defending a North Fort Myers teen who is accused of being driven to attempted murder because of a fight involving a girl at a party.
The 17-year-old suspect was arrested this week at Cape Coral High School, one month after he allegedly tried to shoot the victims during a chase through the city.
Fox 4 does not identify minors unless they are charged as an adult.
According to a Cape Coral Police report, the incident in question happened in the early morning hours of March 26th.
Police say the suspect began following the victims in his car before firing five rounds into their car, striking one victim in the arm. The suspect continued to follow the victims onto Del Prado Boulevard, where more shots were fired, causing the victims to crash.
Reports show detectives interviewed the minor at Cape Coral High School to confirm if he was in the car during the time of the shooting. The minor denied any knowledge of the event. Police say the minor told detectives he was in the vehicle earlier in the evening at a party in Fort Myers but went home afterwards and knew nothing about a shooting in Cape Coral.
“I know he didn’t shoot nobody," the minor's grandmother said. "He doesn’t have the heart to do that. He don’t have the heart to do that."
Ivette Verazuela says her 17-year-old grandson was in the car with other people the night of the shooting but was not the one who pulled the trigger.
"He didn't shoot. It wasn't him," Verazuela said. "It was the driver."
Detectives say through several witness sworn statements that the minor was inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting and sat in the rear passenger seat. One witness in a sworn statement telling detectives he was sitting in the backseat with the juvenile and witnessed him sitting on the window edge of the rear window and fired a handgun several times.
The suspect was arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted 2nd degree murder. Detectives say based on the information they found the minor intentionally committed an act which would have resulted in the death of two people.
Cape Coral Police say Aaron Atkins was also arrested for 2 counts of attempted homicide. Public records show Atkins was driving the vehicle.
The Lee County School District would not say if the student will be suspended or expelled for this incident.