A 15-year-old boy is facing three charges of attempted murder after sheriff’s office officials say he tried to rob a McDonald’s employee behind the Shepherd Road restaurant just after 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

“It’s aggravating that a 15-year old would be out in the middle of the night robbing people at gunpoint and shooting at people,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “It’s completely unacceptable, so we’re going meet with the State Attorney’s Office about charging this suspect as an adult. We need juveniles to realize that we’re not going to tolerate such abhorrent, dangerous behavior.”

Demarion Wilson of Mulberry is also charged with attempted armed burglary, discharging a firearm in a public place, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

PCSO Deputies rushed to the McDonald’s  after receiving reports of gunshots in the parking lot at 1:38 am.

They say Wilson attempted to rob an employee at gunpoint behind the restaurant. When the store manager and her husband pulled into the parking lot to close up, the victim ran toward them and shouted at them to call 9-1-1.

Sheriff Grady Judd said Wilson fired three shots toward the car, striking it once. Wilson ran from the parking lot and none of the victims were injured.

Deputies blocked off a perimeter around the area and a K-9 located Wilson hiding in the bushes behind the Publix shopping plaza across the street. He was in possession of a Glock 9mm and a black mask.

Sheriff’s Office officials say the investigation is ongoing and more charges are likely to be added.

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Kimberly C. Moore, who grew up in Lakeland, has been a print, broadcast and multimedia journalist for more than 30 years. Before coming to LkldNow in the spring of 2022, she was a reporter for four years with The Ledger, first covering Lakeland City Hall and then Polk County schools. She is the author of “Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak," published by University Press of Florida. Reach her at kimberly@lkldnow.com or 863-272-9250.

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