1 injured; 2 sought in Orange County shooting

Authorities say victim shot in stomach


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County deputies spent hours searching for two culprits linked to a shooting that critically injured a man.

Orange County authorities said the shooting occurred Thursday night on Warringwood Drive, near John Young Parkway and Rio Grande Avenue.

Deputies said three men were possibly involved in a drug deal when one of the men pulled a gun and fired.

Two people led deputies on a manhunt through neighborhoods around Rio Grande Avenue from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.

Denise Thomas was sitting at a nearby bus stop as a helicopter searched overhead when she said a man walked up to her and tried to use her as a decoy to evade deputies.

"I'm sitting at the bus stop waiting for my bus and the gentleman came up to me, little young guy, and said, 'Ma'am can I just stand up here and play like I'm talking to you for a minute?' I'm like, 'Yeah,'" said Thomas, who said the man ran up to her shoeless and when police dogs got close, he ran.

Deputies eventually caught the man and arrested him.  They also collected a large bag of marijuana as evidence.

"I know it had to be bad," said Thomas. "I'll be honest and tell you (that) he told me he had weed on him."

Deputies say the shooting happened in an alley near The Villages apartments, and neighbors have complained about crime in the alley before.

"That's way too close," said Ivy Dahl, who lives in the apartments and heard the gunshots. "I'm scared. I'm really scared."

Orange County Fire Rescue said the victim, estimated to be in their 20s, was shot in the stomach and taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

One man was taken into custody, but deputies have not confirmed whether he will be charged in relation to the shooting.