BRADENTON — A 12-year-old boy was accidentally shot when an argument between his stepfather and 19-year-old brother escalated Thursday morning.

Bradenton Police said Joshua Rappola, 36, of Bradenton identified himself to investigators as the shooter. Police identified the 19-year-old man as Rufus Adams of Bradenton.

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Charges have not yet been filed in the case.

Bradenton Police received a call about a shooting inside a home in the 1900 block of Sixth Avenue East in Bradenton around 11:30 a.m. Officers found two victims in the home, ages 12 and 19, with gunshot wounds.

The 12-year-old had a gunshot wound to his lower body and was taken to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. His condition was not immediately known. Adams was taken to Blake Medical Center for treatment. His condition also was not immediately known.

According to police, the incident started with a verbal confrontation between Rappola and Adams inside the home. Adams allegedly armed himself with a gun and the stepfather armed himself with a handgun. Rappola fired shots in the direction of Adams that struck the 12-year-old boy.

 Bradenton Police detectives are investigating the case with the assistance of the Manatee County Homicide Investigation Unit. Investigators placed crime scene tape around several houses at the intersection of Sixth Avenue East and 19th Street East where shell casings were found in the road.

A police spokesman said investigators were uncertain if the shell casings were from the incident or from a Fourth of July celebration.



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