WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - An arrest has been made in the shooting death of an Orlando musician at a bar in Winter Haven, according to police.
Police announced at a 5:30 p.m. news conference that Samuel Sweet Jr., 18, has been arrested in the death of Ralph Ameduri Jr., 45, a well-known bass player in the Orlando area who was shot in September 2011 behind Jessie's Bar in Winter Haven.
Ralph Ameduri, Jr.
The band was taking a break outside when a gunman approached the group, ordered them to the ground and demanded money, police said.
"We want Ralph back, but that's not going to happen. I feel bad for the kid and that takes a lot for me to say," Jeff Sweat, Ameduri's best friend said just minutes after hearing of the arrest.
"He (Sweet) threw a lot of lives away including his own. It's still just a hard pill to swallow," Brian Chodorcoff said.
A tip to police helped crack the case and surveillance video put Sweet in the area at the time of the murder.
Ameduri's friends said they are still in shock, and aren't sure how to handle the news of this arrest.
"It's like a cloudy feeling. There is no joy in this. None," Sweat said.
For Sweat, life won't be the same without Ameduri, but he hopes the arrest brings some closure to his family.
"I miss my brother. He wasn't my blood brother, but he was my best friend and I miss him," Sweat said.
Sweet was 17-years-old at the time of the murder and police say he tried to rob the entire band that night. He's charged with first degree murder and four counts of attempted armed robbery.
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