Police: Teen shoots 12-year-old in Taunton after Facebook dispute

TAUNTON, Mass. (WHDH/AP) — A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in Massachusetts after police say he shot a 12-year-old following a dispute on Facebook.

The shooting happened around noon Monday after the teen was confronted by a group of juveniles at his home in Taunton, police said.

Taunton Police Lt. Paul Roderick said the teen retrieved a .22 long rifle registered to his mother from a locked safe and shot the 12-year-old in a nearby wooded area.

“The young man went home, went into a locked gun cabinet, removed a .22 rifle, came back to were they had engaged in the dispute, fired one warning shot, aimed the rifle at the victim and shot him once,” Lt. Paul Roderick said.

Roderick said the bullet went through the boy’s arm before becoming lodged in his rib cage. Officials transported him to Rhode Island Hospital in stable condition, saying he likely needed surgery.

“I believe that part of this had to do with some texting. Maybe even the defendant felt that he was bullied and he was defended himself. But rather to not report it to the school system or police department, he took it upon himself,” Roderick said. “That’s disheartening.”

The teen has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a dwelling.

He is in state custody and is expected to go to juvenile court.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)