17-year-old fatally shot in head, crashes car into Casselberry home, police say

More than 100 people gather to remember Bryce Williams

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist, Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter, Erik Sandoval - Reporter

CASSELBERRY, Fla. - A 17-year-old and two friends were sitting in a car Monday in a Casselberry park when the 17-year-old was fatally shot in the head, causing him to crash the car into a nearby home, according to police.

One of the victim's friends, a 16-year-old girl, called 911 moments after the shooting and crash. The girl told dispatchers she was hiding in the car under a blanket and in fear for her life. Police said they responded to the call at 8:12 p.m.

The victim's mother identified the 17-year-old as Bryce Williams.

"His life was cut so short, who knows what kind of wonderful things he could've grown up to do and be," William's mother, Kim Crow, said.

Matthew Mowder, 19, told News 6 that he was in car's back seat, the 16-year-old girl was in the front passenger side seat and Williams was in the driver's seat when the shooting happened.

According to the girl's 911 call, the teens were sitting in the car at Lake Hodge Park when an unknown man came up to the car and shot Williams.

Casselberry Police Chief Larry Krantz said investigators believe the teens were waiting at the park to meet some friends.

Mowder told News 6 he didn't recognize the gunman or the people with him and said they were wearing beanies or masks.

"My friend got shot, the car went off and he started driving," she said. "We're in the bushes now. He drove the car into the bushes."

Mowder said it all happened fast.

"Bryce tried to drive away with his last breath, and we started flying forward into the wall of the car," Mowder told News 6.

The owner of the home on Osceola Trail that the vehicle crashed into also called 911 moments after the crash.

"Somebody just drove into my house," he said.

Police said that when they arrived, they found a blue four-door Kia had crashed into the front of the home at 900 Osceola Trail, causing minor damage to the residence.

The police chief said Williams was known to the department, but would not say under what circumstances.

Investigators said they have not identified any suspects but have a general description of the people's appearance and of the vehicle. Three black males in their teens or early 20s and one female were seen leaving the scene of the shooting in a dark-colored car.

Krantz said the shooter was wearing a dark-colored sweater and a knit cap with a ball on top.

Police do not know the motive for the shooting.

"This is a tremendous tragedy here. We have a 17-year-old male sitting in his car in a park and, for unknown reasons, he is murdered," Krantz said.

On Tuesday night, more than 100 people were at the scene of the shooting at
Lake Hodge Park to remember Williams.

Friends lit candles, shared stories and launched floating lanterns into the sky.

They prayed that Casselberry police would find the people responsible and bring closure for the family.

"We have to find who did it," Crow told News 6. "We have to find who did it."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.

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