Florida teen killed while friends were taking turns shooting one another in bulletproof vest, police say

The boy was transported to a hospital where he later died

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A Florida boy, 16, was killed this week after he and at least two others took turns shooting one another while wearing body armor, officials said.

Joshua Vining and Colton Whitler, both 17, were arrested Thursday and are being tried as adults in connection with the shooting incident Sunday in Belleview (about 70 miles northwest of Orlando), where Christopher Leroy Broad Jr. was killed, according to the Belleview Police Department.

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Officers said they responded to a dispatch call where they found the boy in the residence with a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital where he later died, police said.

Two arrested, Joshua Vining and Colton Whitler, in the shooting death of juvenile Christopher Broad Jr., 16.

Two arrested, Joshua Vining and Colton Whitler, in the shooting death of juvenile Christopher Broad Jr., 16. (Belleview Police Department)

A video of the incident was recorded by 18-year-old Evan Vowell, who was allegedly at the home at the time of the incident, and later provided the video to law enforcement, Click Orlando reported.

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Vowell told police that Vining initiated the shooting game after he produced a firearm and a bulletproof vest, asking if they "had ever seen anyone get shot with a bulletproof vest on," officials said.

Investigators determined Vowell’s statement to be true after Whitmer initially misled police, saying "my house just got shot up, my friend got shot in the chest," according to affidavits before he called the police. In a later statement, Whitler said Vowell shot Broad Jr., but the evidence did not support this claim, police said.  

The Belleview Police Department building on December 3, 2021

The Belleview Police Department building on December 3, 2021

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Police charged Vining with aggravated manslaughter of a child with a firearm and Whitler was charged with providing false information to law enforcement, both as adults.