ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County deputies believe six armed men wearing ski masks involved in a violent home invasion Wednesday afternoon may have targeted the family inside.
Deputies said the men kicked in the front door of the Lavender Court home in east Orange County around 2:30 p.m. and almost immediately pistol-whipped the mother before tying up the family of four at gunpoint.
A woman seen walking around the crime scene with a bandage around her head was identified by neighbors as the mother of the house.
Deputies said the group of robbers pistol-whipped the side of her head, then left the family bound for nearly an hour. Somehow, the family members were able to break free and call 911 around 3:30 p.m., but by then the intruders were gone.
The mother tells Local 6 she had to get 5 staples in her head from the incident. She said the robbers stole Jordan shoes, phone and $5 from a wallet.
She also said her family heard the names the robbers were calling each other and told authorities. The mother also tells Local 6 one of the culprits tried to rape their daughter.
Neighbors tell Local 6 they are wondering why the robbers came here.
"I just think that it's a person that knows what the people are doing here or that they have, money or something, because this is a safe neighborhood," said Jose Carpio, who lives across the street. "It scares me that people like this come into this neighborhood and do these things."
Deputies said the criminals knew what they wanted and got it. They also said the family was targeted.
"The public can be rest assured, these people were targeted by these individuals. So it's not just a random event," said Orange County Sheriff's Sergeant P. Parks Duncan. "We think we can be comfortable in bringing these people to justice pretty soon."
While investigators say the men and family may have known each other, the family says they've never seen the men.