A 14-year-old Florida boy is in the hospital and a 49-year-old man is in jail, charged with attempted murder as he is accused of shooting the teen in Jacksonville in the morning of Oct. 5, 2023, according to reports.
Anthonio Cobb is facing one count of attempted murder after police said he shot a 14-year-old who he caught breaking into his car in Springfield last week.
Retired Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office director Tom Hackney said it’s a classic case where the victim becomes the suspect.
“Nobody wants their car broken into. Nobody wants their property taken from them. And there are things you can do to prevent that,” Hackney said. “But when you take the law into your own hands like that and use deadly force, I mean the suspect in this case is lucky to be alive.”
According to an arrest report, an unidentified neighbor told police that three individuals were seen illegally entering Cobb’s car on Walnut Street. That neighbor also told police Cobb had exited his home, and confronted those three people by yelling at them before they jumped out and took off running.
Police said as they were running, Cobb fired at them and hit one of them in the back. The person who was hit was identified as a 14-year-old boy. The law does not allow a burglary victim to shoot a fleeing burglar.
Hackney said this could easily be a reoccurring issue now that Florida gun laws no longer force people to undergo training as a condition to conceal carry.
“There were steps you had to take and rules you had to learn, and you had to familiarize yourself with the law and that doesn’t exist anymore. That step taken away from the gun carriers out there can wind up with things like this happening,” Hackney said.
On the morning this incident happened, police learned multiple cars in this Springfield neighborhood had been broken into. One neighbor we spoke with said this was a sad situation all around.
“It’s concerning that we have crime happening in our area, and we want to make sure everything is safe, but it’s also a sad story that it was a kid who was injured by a gun,” said neighbor Brook Baker.
“You have more people out there who are armed and carrying concealed firearms,” Hackney said. “This is evidence that somebody went too far and took matters into their own hands. It’s also a cautionary tale to those who are involved in criminal acts. Keep your hands off other people’s things because it could be more than just the care stereo that you’re getting.”
The 14-year-old survived and was charged with two counts of burglary.
Cobb is also facing one count of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He was previously convicted of manslaughter.