Police Beat: Two random shootings in Orlando early this morning
Two random shootings that took place early this morning were unrelated incidents, according to the Orlando Police Department, but that doesn’t make them any less scary.
Officers responded to both incidents in a 15-minute time frame, and each occurred about 7 miles apart.
The first went down as Lasundra Samuels left a party on West Gore Street at around 3:45 a.m. The 25-year-old Gainesville resident was on spring break and was headed back to her sister’s apartment alone.
After crossing South Ivey Lane and approaching the gate of Lake Mann Apartments, she noticed a woman just behind the fence talking to a man wearing a white mask – a strange sight at any time of day, but downright eerie past three in the morning. She didn’t think anything of it, according to a police report, probably because of all the booze she’d been drinking, just like any normal college student on spring break.
Then the woman fled further into the complex, away from the masked man, which should have made Samuels’ heart race. Instead the spring-breaker nonchalantly walked through the gate, where she was confronted.
“What you got?” the masked man demanded, to which Samuels replied with the sass of a naive movie heroine, “I got nothing.” After cockily turning her back and walking away, she heard three to four gunshots before seeing the man flee northbound on South Ivey Lane.
Two bullets struck her buttocks and another lacerated her pinky, but she had no idea of her injuries, probably due to the booze and her lack of experience in being shot. Police say she calmly walked back to her sister’s apartment, where she called 911. Large amounts of blood were found on Samuels’ bed, indicating that she might have tried to lie down before realizing her wounds.
To add to this flummoxing episode is a witness statement suggesting a physical struggle between Samuels and the masked man prior to the shooting (the same witness’ story has the guy hiding behind a tree, waiting for Samuels, and is void of the woman who fled beforehand), but Samuels said that he never put his hands on her, just his bullets.
Fifteen minutes later officers responded to an aggravated battery call at 5224 Cinderlane Parkway, and found 19-year-old Corey Stanley, Jr. with a gunshot wound to the leg.
He’d been standing with some friends outside of the residence when, according to a police report, a four-door gray sedan with dark, tinted windows pulled up. The front passenger asked if anyone wanted to buy some weed, and Stanley answered “No.”
The car left the scene, only to return minutes later, this time to ask if anyone had any weed. Stanley told them they didn’t, and after turning back to socialize with his pals, he heard a loud gunshot and realized he’d been hit in the leg. The car sped off.
Neither Stanley nor his friends provided officers with any details about the occupants of the vehicle, and refused to press charges, strangely, leaving police with about as much information on the shooter’s identity as Samuels could provide to a sketch artist describing the man who tried to kill her.