“Stand by, shots fired at me again,” the deputy says from behind a tree, a few dozen yards from a house. “Juvenile male fired that one. Stand by. She’s got the AK and a shotgun, she’s wrapping it around the top of her neck.” Another loud crack. “SHOTS FIRED. God damn it,” the deputy tells dispatchers, immediately regaining a striking calm, given the circumstance. “Shots fired again. Female now has a pistol. Juvenile male now has a long gun so does the female. Stand by.”
“I’m gonna roll this down like GTA,” the girl told the boy, the boy would later tell deputies, referring to Grand Theft Auto, the video game.
“She’s pointing the gun. Pointing the gun behind the trash can,” another voice is heard saying, from a hovering helicopter (Volusia County’s Air One). Moments later, the night-vision camera angle from the helicopter shows, without sound, the numerous muzzle flashes from behind the tree, where several deputies are firing at the house before a cease fire call goes out. The girl has been hit. “I think the female is down,” one of the deputies says. The juvenile boy walks out, his hands up. The girl is on the ground but moving. “We’ve got to get a rescue up here, guys,” a deputy is heard saying. The deputies soon move into the house, secure the weapons and the girl, who’s heard wailing.
“What’s your name sweetie, come on, what’s your name sweetie?” The deputies have moved from dealing with an assailant to tending to a casualty. None of the deputies were injured.
The girl is Nicole Marie Jackson Maldonado. She is 14. She came to prominence in Palm Coast just last April, when she was arrested on a series of felony arson charges for setting several brush fires in her own B-Section neighborhood, when she was a student at Buddy Taylor Middle School and living in a group home on Burgundy Place. “This young lady needs a lot of help and since DJJ released her back into the same environment that allowed this behavior, I hope she does not do it again and instead gets the help she needs,” Sheriff Rick Staly said at the time–a comment that triggered a series of responses from apparent current or past residents of the group home. The comments were critical of the suggestion that the home and the girl’s behavior were to blame.
On Tuesday evening, the girl, usually referred to as Nicole Jackson, seemingly armed with a pistol and a shotgun–as deputies described the weaponry–and another minor armed with an AK-47, were in a stand-off with Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies at at 1050 Enterprise Osteen Road in Deltona, a house the pair had allegedly burglarized and from where they’d seized their weapons. The two children then started firing at the deputies, as a body cam video indicates, before the deputies themselves fired back, injuring the girl but not not the boy. The boy was 12.
The boy and Jackson had that day ran away from the Florida United Methodist’s Children’s Home, another group home, in Enterprise. They’d actually been swimming at Green Springs Park, according to Jackson’s arrest report. Deputies had been requested at the park at 6:17 p.m. because of the presence of eight to 10 juveniles swimming there. When the deputies arrived, Jackson smiled at a deputy and “took off on foot towards the bike paths,” with the 12 year old following closely behind her. The pair managed to elude the deputies. A little over an hour later, passers-by alerted authorities to glass breaking at the Enterprise Osteen Road house.
“As deputies approached the house, they saw signs of forced entry and observed two (2) figures in the home,” the arrest report states. “Deputies contacted the homeowner, who told them no one should be inside of the residence, and that there was a handgun, a shotgun and an AK-47 inside, along with a large amount of ammunition.”
The police narrative continues: “After deputies surrounded the home and began making announcements into the house, Jackson and [the boy] started shooting at them. Jackson subsequently fired a shot at a deputy out of a back patio door around 8:30 p.m. Over the course of approximately 30 minutes, both Jackson and [the boy] fired at deputies on multiple occasions. Jackson then exited the residence through the garage armed with a shotgun. Jackson subsequently pointed the shotgun at deputies and then fired the shotgun in their direction. As a result of her (Jackson’s) actions, deputies were forced to defend themselves by returning fire. Jackson sustained multiple gunshot wounds and deputies quickly acted to perform life saving measures. Also in the
garage with Jackson, and armed with an AK-47, was [the boy]. After Jackson was shot, and deputies were providing her first aid, [the boy] surrendered
without further incident. In the garage, deputies observed the AK-47 style rifle, a shotgun and a handgun.”
Jackson was initially taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital for further medical treatment. After undergoing surgery, she was reported to be in
stable condition and transferred to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando for further observation. The boy was taken to Advent Health Fish Memorial in Orange City for treatment of a medical condition. There, the boy described to a deputy how he’d ran away from the group home–not for the first time–and happened by the weaponry at what looked like a barn on the property before breaking glass to get into the house. It wasn’t long before, the boy told deputies, that he’d seen the house occupants drive off. At the time the boy was with other boys, and together they intentionally broke windows in the house. A detective asked the boy how many windows he broke. “Every last one of them,” he said.
The other boys ran off and only the 12-year-old boy and Jackson broke in. They found two shotguns, a handgun and an AK-47. By then they noticed the cops outside. That’s when Jackson said she would “roll this down like GTA.” She started firing. When the boy noticed “green dots” on him, he started firing, too–a double-barreled shotgun, then a pistol, knowingly firing at cops. “He said before he ran to the garage, he had grabbed an 63 AK-47 from the bedroom which was in a case. Also in the case were two loaded magazines for the AK-47.”
“Deputies did everything they could tonight to de-escalate, and they almost lost their lives to a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old,” Sheriff Chitwood said at the time of the incident. “If it wasn’t for their training and their supervision… Somebody would have ended up dead.”
“I don’t know where we get the men and women who respond to these incidents, who do what they do, and do it with bravery, do it with courage, and do it while trying to protect the sanctity of human life,” he said. “But they took rounds – multiple, multiple rounds – until they were left with no other choice but to return fire.”
Jackson and the boy are charged with attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and armed burglary. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office handled close to 300 calls at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in 2020. Last month, a 14-year-old boy at the group home pleaded no contest to a charge of manslaughter in the death of a security officer he struck during an altercation in late March.
In midafternoon Thursday State Attorney R.J. Larizza’s office issued the following statement: “We are in the process of conducting a thorough and comprehensive review of the cases involving the 12 and 14-year-old individuals accused of shooting at police officers. Once we have completed our review, we will disclose and discuss our charging decisions in more detail.”