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Two teen boys were on a family vacation with their parents at a Panama City Beach resort in Florida that soon turned deadly. On March 23, 2021, one of the teens, Lucas, was fatally shot as he shielded his stepbrother from gunshots. The shooting occurred over what Christopher Cox, the shooter, thought was attempted robbery when, in fact, Lucas just picked up the wrong bag thinking it belonged to his family.

The two teens were sitting on beach chairs at the resort when they encountered 37-year-old Christopher Cox. Cox said he “unloaded” on the teens after he grabbed his bag back and grabbed the gun from inside the bag. Lucas was shot first and then protected his stepbrother from additional shots Cox fired. Lucas was fatally shot and the stepbrother was able to get away with some gunshot wounds. The stepbrother was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.

Cox, who was seen fleeing the area, was later arrested on charges of one open count of murder and one count of attempted murder. According to an arrest affidavit, Cox told police that one of the teens picked up his bag and he “felt as though they were trying to steal from him.” When asked what would’ve happened if the victim did steal his bag, Cox stated “he would’ve lost his firearm which he stated he was not willing to do.” He is being held without bail.

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