PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - A family has been ripped apart by a single gunshot.
Escambia County Sheriff's Deputies said two girls were fighting when 17-year-old Elena Rendell grabbed a gun and shot her 14-year-old foster sister.
Wednesday night, Rendell was charged with aggravated assault, but the charges were upgraded to manslaughter Thursday after the 14-year-old died.
"We made the decision to charge her as an adult - to charge her with manslaughter with a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years and a mandatory minimum of 25," said State Attorney Bill Eddins.
The victim's distraught mother said she has lost two daughters as a result of this incident.
"They were great kids. She didn't mean to do this. She doesn't realize what she's done. She doesn't even know that she's deceased," said Troyce Sneary.
According to Sneary, that's because both of the girls are severely learning disabled, and she said Rendell suffers from problems with aggression.
Still, Sneary can't wrap her head around the incident.
"The guns were put away. Don't know how they got them. And I get a phone call and this is it," Sneary said.
"Two kids in one day. You think you can leave a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old alone," Sneary added.
As tragic as this case is, State Attorney Bill Eddins believes this was just one example of what's becoming a growing trend in Escambia County.
"We've convicted and sent more people to prison for life than I can imagine, and it still does not seem to slow down the violence," Eddins said. "It almost appears that we're having a disintegration of our society."
It's what Eddins calls a very troubling reality.
Rendell's bond is set at $300,000. Her trial date will be decided at a hearing on August 18.
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