A family was ripped apart during the holidays after a sibling dispute over Christmas gifts turned deadly.
Two teenagers are facing serious charges related to the death of their 23-year-old sister. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Damarcus Coley, 14, is in police custody. He’s accused of shooting his sister, Abrielle Baldwin, in the chest.
The incident took place at the siblings’ grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), per a press release. Officials have charged the 14-year-old with first-degree murder, child abuse, and delinquent in possession of a firearm.
Damarcus and Abrielle’s middle sibling, Darcus Coley, was also reportedly involved in the dispute, per police records. The 15-year-old is charged with attempted first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. He reportedly fired a weapon at his younger brother in defense of their sister.
Florida Police Describe Deadly Sibling Dispute Over Christmas Gifts
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualteiri held a press conference on Dec. 26 to explain what led to Abrielle’s death and her brothers’ arrests. This comes after local police responded to a shooting incident on Dec. 24 in the “Unincorporated Largo” area.
An investigation revealed that Damarcus, Darcus, and Abrielle went shopping for Christmas gifts on Dec. 24. The siblings shopped alongside their mother and Abrielle’s 11-month-old and six-year-old sons. Afterward, they all went to their grandmother’s house. At some point, an argument reportedly ensued over the gifts.
According to Fox 13 Tampa Bay, Damarcus was upset that Darcus received more gifts than him.
Abrielle tried to end the dispute, pointing at the holiday season as a reason why they shouldn’t be arguing. However, Damarcus, 14, responded by threatening to shoot his sister and her infant son — whom she was holding in a carrier. The details are unclear, but police say the 14-year-old proceeded to shoot Abrielle in the chest.
Darcus responded by shooting Damarcus “because [he] shot Abrielle.” Afterward, the 15-year-old fled the scene of the shooting on foot. Police have not been able to locate the gun Darcus used, but they believe he tossed it “into a nearby yard.”
Darcus was later transported to a mental health facility following statements about committing self-harm. The Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center will take custody of him upon his release.
Abrielle and Damarcus suffered a single gunshot wound, and medical staff transported them to a local hospital for treatment. However, Abrielle passed from her injuries while her sibling shooter is in “stable condition.”
Watch the full press conference about the Christmas gifts shooting below.