According to the police, a 15-year-old boy is facing murder charges for the stray-bullet death of a Florida grandmother who had served in Operation Desert Storm.
The Orlando Police Department stated that the teenager, whose name was not revealed due to being a minor, was arrested on Friday, four months after the tragic shooting that resulted in the death of former US Army Sgt. Angela Sutton Washington.
Cops said a stray bullet struck the 61-year-old veteran while she was shopping at the strip mall known as North Lane Plaza in Orlando on February 7.
“Through the relentless efforts of our Homicide Detectives along with cooperation from the community and Central Florida Crimeline a suspect has been captured,” the police said of the four-month-long investigation.
They said that the video footage captured a group of teens and young men engaged in an argument at the mall, during which one of them pulled out a gun and fired the shot that struck Washington.
Shortly after, a dark Mazda 3 in the parking lot of the mall was also spotted fleeing the scene.
A reward of $10,000 had been offered for any tips that could lead to the arrest of the suspect.
Police previously stated that Sutton “was simply stopping at the convenience store on the way home to pick something up and was shot and killed.”
The family of the beloved grandmother informed Orlando TV station Fox 35 that she would visit the strip mall nearly every day. Her son, Fernando Washington, said he hoped the tragedy would be a “catalyst for change” to curb violence in his community.
“We cannot continue to think that senseless deaths make sense because they don’t,” he said.
Community advocate Bishop Kelvin Cobaris it was heartbreaking to learn that a teenager was the primary suspect in the woman’s tragic shooting death.
A woman “who sacrificed and gave her life for our freedom” and had been “taken down by senseless violence in the street for not doing anything wrong.”
“There are young people in our communities that are making bad decisions, and these costing them their life because while the suspect is not dead, basically after being charged with this, their life is about over,” he told the local outlet.
The teenager was charged with first-degree murder, a crime that can result in a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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