A 12-year-old boy and his brother, 19, were hospitalized on Thursday after they were allegedly shot by their stepfather during an argument inside their home in Bradenton, Florida, according to Fox 13 News. At around 11:28 a.m., police were dispatched to a home in the 1900 block of Sixth Avenue East.
Responding officers discovered that Rufus Adams and his younger brother, whose name has not been released, had been shot by their 36-year-old stepfather, Joshua Rapolla, who authorities say admitted to being the shooter at the scene.
Rapolla told police that he and his oldest stepson were arguing in the home when he suddenly grabbed a gun, which prompted him to grab a gun of his own. As the argument escalated, authorities say the stepfather open fire, shooting both of his stepsons.
It was reported that Adams was shot in the head, as well as the upper body. He was rushed to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, where he remains in critical condition.
The 12-year-old boy was also allegedly shot by his stepfather during the verbal altercation, but police officials believe that he was not the intended target, and his shooting was accidental. The boy sustained injuries to his lower body, and he was transported to All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete.
He is listed in stable condition.
Bradenton police have not released information on why Rapolla and his stepfather were arguing, but they did, however, release the stepfather’s 911 call after the shooting, where he can be heard desperately pleading for help.
The shooting has left the Bradenton neighborhood in shock. A neighbor, Edward Anderson, said that he has lived in the area for four years and never thought a shooting would take place near his home.
Edwards went on to say that he would often see Adams and his younger brother playing outside, and “they’ve never had a problem like this here, so I just feel for the community.”
No arrests have been at this time, but detectives and crime scene investigators from the Manatee County Homicide Investigation Unit are investigating the shooting.
If anyone has information regarding the Bradenton shooting, you are urged to contact the Bradenton Police Department at (941) 932-9300 or contact Detective Fredy Ordonez at 941-932-9327.
Tips can also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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