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Brother of teen accused of attempted murder shares his side of story

JSO gang unit arrests Steven Wiggins, 17, at First Coast High School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The older brother of a 17-year-old boy accused of trying to kill someone in March shared his family's side of the story Wednesday, saying his little brother would never shoot his friend, especially since the two were in the same car.

Steven Wiggins was arrested Monday at First Coast High School on charges of attempted felony murder, attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery and possession of a weapon by a juvenile delinquent, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

He was arrested in connection with the shooting of a man that took place early on March 19 near North McDuff Avenue and West Beaver Street on Jacksonville's Westside, according to a JSO report. 

The report said a police officer saw Timothy Smith, who had been shot, lying in the street next to his car. 

His mother, Eunice Smith, told News4Jax Tuesday that her son was shot in the upper chest area and had to have extensive surgery on June 9 at UF Health. She said her family is relieved that Wiggins was arrested.

"It made me feel good, very good, that it is coming to a closure, that justice will prevail," Eunice Smith said.

But Reggie Williams, Wiggins' older brother, told News4Jax Wednesday that there is more to the incident. 

"He was not alone. He was in the car with the other guy. The guy who got shot 14 times was the driver. Steven was supposed to be on the passenger side. No one (was) saying anything about Steven. He got shot four times that same night," Williams said. 

Williams said his brother went to the hospital that night. A family friend said someone was shooting inside the car and also shot a third person in the car. 

"I was like this ain't Steven. Steven don't get in trouble," Williams said. "He's just a kid growing up."

Wiggins' family members said police should have evaluated the car and the crime scene more and they believe the evidence will show that the 17-year-old did not try to kill his friend. 

"It's really hurting us. It's tearing them a part because Steven is not that. He's not that at all," said the family friend, who wished to not be named. 

A warrant was issued for Wiggins' arrest and he was taken into custody Monday at the high school by members of the Sheriff's Office gang unit and booked into jail.

Even though law enforcement officials do not have to notify anyone before an arrest warrant has been issued, Wiggins' family members said they feel a parent should have been present before he was arrested. 

"He's a juvenile and your people got to be present in order to talk to whoever got him in this predicament that he's in. So I feel like that's not right. A parent or legal guardian should have been there and notified," Williams said.

Williams said his brother's arrest has hurt the entire family. 

"It's stressing them out and it's stressing me out as well," Williams said.

The state attorney's office is reviewing the case and will determine whether Wiggins will be prosecuted as a juvenile or an adult. 

Wiggins was previously arrested for burglary in December 2014 and for robbery in September 2014. Both cases were prosecuted in juvenile court.