Florida Teen Charged With Animal Cruelty After Video Showing Shootings of Trapped Animals Is Posted Online

17-year-old charged with felony animal cruelty and discharging a weapon in a residential area

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013  |  Updated 2:22 PM EDT
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A 17-year-old from Florida is facing an animal cruelty charge after video showing him shooting and killing a trapped raccoon and possum was posted online, authorities said.

The Melbourne teen was arrested on charges of felony animal cruelty and discharge of a weapon in a residential area and was being held at the Brevard County Juvenile Detention Center, the Brevard Sheriff's Office said Monday.

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Authorities said an investigation was begun after video of the teen shooting the caged animals was posted on Facebook and YouTube Monday. The video shows the raccoon moving around in the cage before it's shot with what looks like a rifle before it writhes around inside the cage. Then the possum is shot in the same manner.

"Our agency received a number of telephone and social media tips from our citizens who were rightfully outraged over the actions posted on YouTube and Facebook. Our Agents immediately addressed the issue, working with the State Attorney's Office to ensure that those responsible for the cruel activities were charged," Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a statement. "These actions are thoroughly disturbing and the Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciates all who called to report the incident."

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The incident is still being investigated and anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff office Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

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