Police now believe one of the suspects in the home invasion robbery and shooting that occurred on Wednesday morning in the 1100 block of South Citrus in the Longwood Highlands neighborhood knew the victim, according to Senior Lead Officer Hebel Rodriquez, who briefed the Buzz late Thursday afternoon.
The police are searching for four African American suspects, one female and three males, including one in a wheelchair, whom they believe went to the home of the victim, demanded money and, after an altercation, shot the victim twice, once in the face and once in the shoulder. They stole the victim’s wallet and fled the scene. The injured victim exited the front of his house, heading down the street, where he encountered another neighbor who called police. Police now believe the suspects fled the area in a vehicle, possibly parked nearby, around the time police arrived and cordoned off the area. The victim is recuperating from his wounds.
“It’s very important for residents to know this was an isolated incident and one of the suspects was an acquaintance of the victim,” said Officer Rodriguez. “This was not a random home invasion burglary.”
Also, on Thursday, there was a report of a trespasser in the backyard of a home in Fremont Place. Neighbors spotted the man running through several backyards. The police were called but the suspect had fled the neighborhood by the time officers arrived. It is not known how the trespasser entered or exited the neighborhood.
“This incidents show how important it is to know your neighbors and be alert,” said Officer Rodriguez. “Violent crime is down overall in the City, but we have seen a real increase in property crimes. Please call the police if you see anything suspicious but don’t confront anyone, just call the police.”