Teenagers held after US gun rampage

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AMERICANS have been left stunned by another shooting rampage involving teenagers, this time near Walt Disney World in Florida, writes Phil Davison, in Miami.

Three schoolboys, aged 16 or 17, were charged with going on a one-hour shooting spree on Thursday night, killing a woman in a car at a stop sign and wounding seven other people in two other random attacks. They were also charged with killing a 32-year-old man at a stop sign last Sunday. Police said the boys, all from Haines City, 15 miles south of Walt Disney World and the Epcot Centre, wore balaclavas during their assaults.

Thursday night's first attack was on a woman checking her mailbox near Haines City. Cathy Lynn Boyd was shot and wounded from a passing car. A few minutes later, the suspects opened fire on three people in a car at a stop sign in the town of Dundee, killing 30-year-old Christy Large and wounding her 28-year-old friend, James Jackson. Within an hour, three gunmen in balaclavas knocked on a motel room door. When 60-year-old Edward Moody opened it, he was "met by a hail of gunfire", according to witnesses. The gunmen then shot four members of his family, including his 10-year- old niece, Vickie Smith.

Police arrested one of the suspects late on Thursday after they pulled his car over and found three balaclavas. That led them to the two other teenagers. All three were either 16 or 17, from a local high school.