Couple shoots 17-year-old in Bithlo while retrieving daughter, deputies say

Man, woman arrested

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

BITHLO, Fla. - A 17-year-old was shot and seriously injured late Tuesday during an argument with a man and a woman in Bithlo, according to deputies.

A neighbor said he heard 20 to 30 gunshots during the shooting, which was reported at 11:30 p.m. in the 200 block of 5th Street.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to a home and found the boy who was suffering life-threatening injuries after being shot in the head. He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Deputies later arrested Pedro Mendez-Santiago, 38, and Anita Rios, 39, on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm. They were pulled over not far from the shooting scene, according to the arrest report.

The suspects told deputies they went to the trailer park after Rios' daughter did not come home from school. Rios told deputies they learned the teen was hanging out with the victim and went to retrieve her.

According to the arrest report, Rios said a woman living at the home threatened them with a knife as they were leaving with their daughter. Rios said she and Mendez-Santiago both fired two warning shots into the air and they left in their vehicle.

However, Mendez-Santiago told deputies an unknown man came out of the home with a gun and began telling them to leave. Mendez-Santiago said he fired his gun at the man and then fired shots into the air but didn't realize anyone was shot, according to the report.

Deputies said a Glock pistol and a Ruger pistol were found in the suspects' vehicle.

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