Gang Violence Blamed For Three-Year-Old’s Death In Pine Hills
A fundraiser for the funeral expenses of a three-year-old killed in Pine Hills this week has raised more than $5,000.
Police were called to Drexel Avenue in Pine Hills Tuesday night, where three-year-old Daquane Felix Jr. was pronounced dead. That shooting was the fourth in the last week alone that police say are retaliations between the Army gang and the 438 gang.
On Monday, 14-year-old Joshua Atkinson was killed and an unnamed 15-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition; police said Atkinson was not a gang member. Orange County Sheriff John Mina called on friends and family to call the sheriff’s office, anonymously if needed.
Mina was asked if he was asking parents to turn in their children, and neighbors to turn in their neighbors.
“The alternative is to have their three-year-old family member killed, alright?” Mina said. “If that were me, if my elderly son was knowingly involved in gang violence and carrying guns and then my family member who’s three years old was killed as a result of that, you’re darn right I would get involved and turn him in.”
Mina said stopping the rash of public shootouts and drive-by shootings in Pine Hills has become the agency’s top priority.
Police say four shootings in the last week alone are retaliations between the Army gang, also known as the All Family No Friends gang, and the 438 gang. Mina said the sheriff’s office has made 20 arrests since July, when the gang violence escalated.
“We’ve made over 20 arrests,” Mina said. “Our agency is working very hard toward this. We’re pouring a lot of resources in there. There’s gonna be a lot of marked units, gonna be a lot of unmarked units, there’s gonna be more plainclothes, there’s gonna be more surveillance. Because our focus is on stopping this violence.”
The sheriff’s office has a task force working with the Orlando Police Department, the state attorney’s office and federal prosecutors.
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