A Florida sheriff put demands for gun control on blast Friday after three underage teens allegedly used a stolen gun to murder three other teens in separate vicious attacks this week.
Christopher Atkins, 12, and Robert Robinson, 17, have both been arrested and charged with the heinous fatal shootings of three other teenagers in Marion County, Florida last week. One victim, identified as 16-year-old Layla Silvernail, was found hurt and lying on the side of the road on March 30. She died later at a local hospital. Another victim, this one a 17-year-old boy, was found the next day shot to death on the side of the road near the scene of the first crime. Finally, 16-year-old Camille Quarles was found on April 1 shot to death and stuffed in the trunk of a car partially sunk in a pond.
Police say they’re still looking for a third suspect, 16-year-old Tahj Brewton, in connection with the crimes.
Speaking during a press conference Friday following the arrests, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods completely destroyed accusations that stricter gun control laws would have prevented this crime and others like it.
“Sir, you mentioned the gun. Do we know how the suspect got ahold of the weapon?” a reporter asked.
“Car burglaries,” he answered.
“Mmm,” someone off to the sheriff’s right murmured.
“‘Mmm.’ Yeah. ‘Mmm,’” Woods retorted.
“Ain’t that right? All the gun laws we got in place didn’t prevent it, did it? Neither will any new ones,” he went on. “Because here’s the fact - the bad guy’s gonna get a gun no matter what laws you have put in place. These juveniles shouldn’t even possess a handgun. But they did.”
After 3 teens murdered 3 other teens with a stolen gun, this is what Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods had to say to a reporter about gun control being a failure. Bravo!— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 7, 2023
Woods went on to say that if the law would allow it, he would happily put the faces of those suspected in “simple burglaries,” like the one that lead to these kids getting the alleged murder weapon in the first place, up on public webpages for everyone to see, so parents can recognize accused and convicted criminals among their kids’ friends.
Authorities said they've identified the crimes as being gang-related, with Woods saying the murders are the result of teens being left to their own devices in a consequence-free environment.
“We do not hold our juveniles accountable. We minimize their actions,” Woods said during Friday's presser. "School districts across the state and across this nation need to quit minimizing the actions of their students. Hold them accountable. That’s where the failure is.”