Florida couple ‘terrorized’ and shot by ‘mob’ blocking road for illegal race, cops say
A Florida couple driving to Key West was “terrorized” and shot when they unwittingly stopped at an intersection where an illegal street race was underway, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
It happened around 4 a.m. Sunday, March 19, in Lehigh Acres, and the two victims survived after getting help, the sheriff’s office reports. Lehigh Acres is about 140 miles south of Tampa.
Investigators say the shooting occurred when the couple stopped at the intersection of Milwaukee Boulevard and Homestead Road with their boat in tow.
“As they approached ... a car club blocked the entire intersection off and gathered to street race,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said at a press conference.
“A mob broke away from the larger group and surrounded the victims’ truck and boat and began to hit punch and kick the vehicle. Several suspects jumped onto the truck and the boat. Our law-abiding, hard working victims were terrorized.”
Video posted on social media shows the couple was attempting to escape when one person ran up to the driver’s side window “and fired a pistol directly into the truck.”
The victims suffered critical injuries, officials said. The identities and conditions of the victims have not been released.
Three arrests have been made in the case, the sheriff’s office says.
The suspected shooter was identified as 17-year-old Armando Cruz of Cape Coral, who has been charged with “two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery, shooting into a conveyance, discharging a firearm in public, possession of a firearm by a juvenile, aggravated rioting, occupied burglary of a vessel, possession of a firearm during a felony, and criminal mischief,” officials said.
Robert Moya, 19, and Savion Woods, 22, were also charged with aggravated rioting after their fingerprints were found on the victims’ truck, Marceno said.
“The elderly couple that fell victim to this violence is currently receiving treatment at a local hospital. Our detectives are in constant contact with hospital staff and their family,” Marceno said.
Marceno referred to the incident as a “disgusting act” at a press conference and pledged to seize the vehicles of those involved in the race.
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