Although it's not typical, the Dec. 2 incident in which a 13-year-old boy is accused of shooting a 21-year-old man behind a Whitehall grocery store is not the first time Whitehall police have seen an adolescent behind the trigger.
"It is very rare for us to have such a young suspect, but it does occasionally happen," said Whitehall police Lt. Chad Wilder.
Wilder said although juveniles might carry guns more often these days, they shoot less frequently.
He said during his 26-year career in law enforcement, "it does seem more common to arrest young suspects carrying guns," but the overwhelming majority of suspects in shooting cases are adults.
Whitehall police Dec. 6 arrested Gregorio Canchola, 13, at an apartment at 425 Half Ave. in Circleville, Whitehall Deputy Chief Dan Kelso said.
Whitehall detectives and SWAT officers took Canchola into custody shortly after noon that day without incident, Kelso said.
Canchola is charged with one count of attempted murder in the shooting of 21-year-old Juan A. Contreras-Moran.
About 5:20 p.m. Dec. 2, police responded to the rear of Kroger, 850 S. Hamilton Road, on the report of a shooting.
There, police found Contreras-Moran with multiple gunshot wounds.
Contreras-Moran was transported to an area hospital, where he was admitted in stable condition with wounds that were not considered life-threatening, Kelso said. He since has been released, he said.
The shooting "is not a random crime," Kelso said.
Canchola and Contreras-Moran are acquaintances and it is believed the shooting stemmed from an argument, Kelso said.
Police believe the two knew each other through the suspect's older brother, Wilder said.