Florida Teens Arrested as Sister’s Murder Unfolds in Christmas Gift Dispute

In a tragic turn of events on Christmas Eve, two teenagers were taken into custody following a heated argument that resulted in the untimely death of their sister. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies promptly responded to a distressing shooting incident at 2357 22nd Ave. SW in Largo. Upon arrival, they discovered Abrielle Baldwin, 23, and Damarcus Coley, 14, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

Despite immediate medical attention, Baldwin succumbed to her injuries while Coley remains in stable condition, according to the authorities. Through their investigations, detectives unveiled that the altercation ensued after the siblings, along with their 15-year-old brother named Darcus Coley, embarked on a Christmas shopping spree in the company of their mother and Baldwin’s two young sons, aged 6 and 11 months.

Following their shopping excursion, the family congregated at their grandmother’s residence, where a dispute erupted between Damarcus Coley, Darcus Coley, and Baldwin regarding Christmas presents, as disclosed in an official statement. “Darcus was jealous that their mother Joyce was getting 14-year-old Damarcus more gifts than he was receiving,” shared Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, shedding light on the incident. “So they had this family spat about who was getting what, and what money was being spent on who, and having this big thing going on.”

Reportedly, Damarcus Coley made threats to shoot his brother, but their uncle intervened, promptly removing him from the premises, as detailed by Gualtieri. However, tensions escalated when Baldwin urged Damarcus Coley to cease the argument, reminding him of the significance of the Christmas season. In response, he brazenly threatened to harm her and her 11-month-old son, whom she was cradling, recounted the detectives.

“Damacus then began arguing with Abrielle and used some very derogatory language — I won’t repeat it all — and all kinds of profanity,” Gualtieri revealed. “He was calling her a whore and all kinds of other stuff, and stated that he was going to shoot her and that he was ‘going to shoot the baby, too.'”

Tragically, Damarcus carried through with his violent intentions, firing a shot at Baldwin while she held her son in a baby carrier. In response, Darcus Coley emerged from the scene and retaliated by shooting Damarcus. Subsequently, Darcus Coley fled the area, discarding his firearm in a nearby yard, and promptly contacted his mother. Law enforcement officials disclosed that he has since been admitted to a mental health facility due to self-harm statements. Upon his release, Darcus Coley will be transferred to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.

During a press conference, Sheriff Gualtieri expressed his concerns about the accessibility of firearms to juvenile delinquents, emphasizing that they acquire them through means such as purchasing stolen guns or engaging in car burglaries. “Both Damarcus and Darcus carried guns all the time. They routinely carried firearms on them,” he stated. “People knew it. That’s what they did.”

Damarcus Coley now faces charges of first-degree murder, child abuse, and delinquency in possession of a firearm. It will be up to the state attorney’s office to determine whether he will be charged as a minor or as an adult. Meanwhile, Darcus Coley is confronted with charges of attempted first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

The devastating events that unfolded on Christmas Eve serve as a somber reminder of the urgent need to address the issue of firearm accessibility among young offenders, prompting authorities to reevaluate existing protocols and enact measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Note: The image accompanying this article is for illustrative purposes only and does not directly correlate with the reported incident.

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