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Deputies: Boy, 14, arrested in Orange Park shooting

Father challenges police narrative, saying son acted in self-defense

Booking photo of Noah Jordan Sublett
Booking photo of Noah Jordan Sublett

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Clay County deputies on Monday arrested a 14-year-old boy suspected of carrying out a recent shooting and two armed robberies.

Noah Sublett was taken into custody on charges linked to a shooting last month off Jefferson Avenue in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Orange Park, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

The Oct. 8 shooting, which investigators then described as an isolated incident, sent one person to the hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

"I think it’s kind of ridiculous that a 14-year-old has a gun; I really do," said Alex Cullens, who lives nearby. "I don’t know how he managed to get a gun at the age of 14. We need to be watchful of that."

According to the Sheriff's Office, Sublett also is considered a suspect in an armed robbery on Wells Road, where a 13-year-old's iPhone was taken at gunpoint. He's also a suspect in another armed robbery on Woodglen Drive, where a 14-year-old was jumped by 10 attackers. The victim in that case said Sublett pointed a gun at him during the attack.

The heavily redacted robbery arrest reports indicate there were two other teens involved in both incidents. News4Jax is not naming those teens because the Sheriff's Office has not announced any charges against them.

Sublett's father told News4Jax his son acted in self-defense after he was threatened by someone else with a gun. He said his son spoke with police over a month ago and came clean about what happened.

"My son is not an angel singing in the church choir, but he's a kid who has problems and needs help," the father said. "I've cried for help."

Below you can find the father's complete statement:

Clay county detectives came to my home almost 2 months ago in regards to the shooting in question. Me and my son went down to the clay county sheriff office on blanding Blvd with no problem. Noah was interviewed and released the same night within approximately 3 hours. Noah admitted to the shooting  and said he was being bullied and threatened by this 20 year old man.  I filed a police report prior to the shooting and showed pictures of the gun that the kid was shot with  by the individual. Nothing was done! The gun he is accused of is the man's gun that was shot in a scuffle. The man pulled a gun out and it was a scuffle because Noah was feeling endangered and extremely terrified for his life while visiting a friend. Clay county detectives received this same statement and have forwarded to the public a false depiction of the crime in question. Noah is on medications and in counseling and should have never been released IF he is portrayed as such a criminal which he is not! The robberies in question do not add up to noah to being depicted in this so called crime spree. BB guns were involved not a lethal weapon. This victim and his father have already been deemed a menace to society as told to me by the Sherriffs office. We will fight this case with our  lawyer. Thank you. My prayers go out to any families that has been affected! 

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.