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Police Said a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old Were Slain in a Christmas Day Shooting in Palm Bay
On Christmas Eve, two juvenile males were shot to death in an isolated part of Palm Bay known as ‘The Compound’. According to police, someone contacted 911 after discovering a dead corpse in a ditch in a rural area of The Compound. Officers discovered two bodies around 8:30 p.m.: a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old.
Jeremiah Brown, 14, was named as the victim by family members on Tuesday. Brown’s family issued a statement in which they expressed their sadness and shared a message against gun violence. “Jeremiah had a brief but full life… Jeremiah was incredibly kind, caring, and respectful,” the statement said.
“We pray for the person or persons responsible for this awful atrocity. Purchasing a gun is as simple as purchasing a pack of gum from a grocery shop. Jeremiah Brown comes from a loving household.” The Compound, where the teens were discovered, is a nearly 3,000-acre open tract in southwest Palm Bay.
“I’m not aware of any automobiles being present, and we still don’t know why these youngsters were out here, especially on Christmas night at that time of night,” Palm Bay Police Department Lt. Michael Roberts said. A mother is accused of stabbing and killing a 3-year-old kid in her Florida residence.
“Definitely frightening,” a dirt bike rider who did not want to be identified stated. The Compound is a famous destination for dirt bikes and ATV enthusiasts. “Mostly off-road riding,” a dirt bike rider who declined to be recognized remarked.
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According to the city, The Compound is not a public recreational area. Because a firm that was developing it went bankrupt in the 1990s, it is currently primarily open fields and dirt roads. The land was sold to largely private owners, who have kept it undeveloped for the time being.
The broad open terrain attracts a wide range of visitors, including model airplanes and gun enthusiasts. “I’ve been coming out here for hobbies, model airplanes and such,” said homeowner Roger Holloway. Piles of shotgun shells have been discovered in the dirt near signs warning that shooting is prohibited.
“They usually shoot from this side to that, but you can obviously see someone has done a number on that sign,” remarked an unidentified dirt bike rider. Holloway claims he was at The Compound on Christmas and observed nothing out of the ordinary, but when he returned home down the road, he noticed a large number of emergency responders passing by.
“Just a couple of dirt bikes out running. I went out seeking model airplanes, but I don’t think there was any that day. But you can always hear the people out here shooting firearms. “They’re not supposed to do it, but they do anyhow,” Holloway explained.
The police describe the region as remote. “There are no genuine residents. There is no traffic in that area. So finding any investigative leads at this time is quite tough,” Roberts explained. Detectives are working around the clock, according to Roberts, and they are hoping for witnesses to come forward to help them figure out what happened.
“Given the sheer volume of 12.2 square miles, it’s practically physically impossible to be able to shut down a continent of that magnitude. We are present. We are being proactive in implementing all of those laws and requiring folks to be aware of some of the hazards that have occurred. But, for the time being, that’s about the most we can do in terms of the agency and keeping proactive out there,” he said.