Orlando Police -15 Year Old Arrested in Drive-By Killing of Desert Storm Vet

Samuel Stevens, 15, of Orlando, was charged with first-degree murder in the drive-by killing of former U.S. Army Sgt. Angela Sutton Washington, a Florida grandmother who served in Operation Desert Storm, Orlando police said.

The 61-year-old veteran was hit by a stray bullet fired by the teen on February 7 while shopping at the North Lane Plaza strip mall in Orlando.

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Orlando Police said the teenager was arrested Friday, four months after the shooting.

“Through the relentless efforts of our Homicide Detectives along with cooperation from the community and Central Florida Crimeline, a suspect has been captured,” police said of the four-month-long investigation.

A surveillance Video showed a group of teens and young men arguing at the mall, with one of them pulling out a gun and firing the shot that hit Washington, cops said. Shortly after the shot was fired, A dark Mazda 3 in the mall’s parking lot was spotted fleeing the scene.

15 Year Old Murder Suspect

A $10,000 reward through Crimeline had been offered for tips leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Police said Ms. Sutton “was simply stopping at the convenience store on the way home to pick something up and was shot and killed.”

Her family told Orlando TV station Fox 35 that the beloved grandmother would go to the strip mall nearly daily. Her son, Fernando Washington, 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 told the local outlet in March.

Bishop Kelvin Cobaris, a community advocate, said it was heartbreaking to learn that a teen was the prime suspect in the fatal shooting of 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.

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The suspect was charged with first-degree murder, carrying a maximum life sentence in prison without parole.

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