14-year-olds face second-degree murder charges for shooting of 17-year-old in Bradenton

Two 14-year-old boys were arrested after police discovered a 17-year-old dead in a car Tuesday afternoon in Bradenton.

Bradenton police say they discovered the body of 17-year-old Angel Villafranca while responding to the parking lot of an apartment complex on the 1800 block of MLK Ave. E. for a report of a person in a vehicle and investigators found that he was shot and killed.

“I’m speechless at this point. I mean he had so much going for him,” said Christopher Darlington, who went to the scene later that night after learning of the shooting and says the victim was his son’s best friend.

Detectives said they interviewed several witnesses and gathered surveillance video from nearby locations, leading them to arrest and charge two 14-year-olds with second-degree murder. Their names were not released.

Psychologists explain how children could commit a violent crime.

“Their ability to think ahead and really think about consequences can be limited, and so they may be so short-sighted that killing this person. They don’t think about the ramifications of it,” said Dr. Wendy Rice of Rice Psychology.

As police work to figure out what led up to the shooting, those who knew the boy are grieving.

“I have so much fear, I have so much anger, hurt disappointment. It goes on and on,” said Darlington.

Police say their investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Detective Patrick Mahoney at (941) 932-9353 or email information to BPDTIPS@BRADENTONPD.COM.

To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-8477 or send an anonymous E-Tip thru the web at www.manateecrimestoppers.com.