Man who shot deputy accused of recent robberies

Suspect killed in shootout

ORLANDO, Fla. – The man who was fatally shot after he opened fire on deputies attempting to serve a warrant was a suspect in a rash of purse snatchings, officials said.

Christopher Redding, 20, shot Sgt. Richard "Rick" Stelter, 45, multiple times before deputies shot Redding to death Tuesday afternoon, deputies said.

Court records show Redding had been arrested Jan. 28  in connection with a Jan. 26 robbery outside the Mall at Millenia.

Nancy Horton told News 6 she was putting away bags of items she had just purchased at Macy's when a man came up from behind her, knocked her down and grabbed her purse.

"I was on the floor, on the ground between the car and the car next to me," she said. "My shoulder was dislocated (and) fractured in numerous places."

Investigators said Redding stole Horton's purse, which had $600 cash inside, along with credit cards.

"It actually never stopped hurting," she said. "This (left) shoulder was dislocated to the point where they had to put in artificial bones."

Horton's daughter called detectives days later to say her mother had to undergo surgery and have her shoulder replaced. She also said her mother's stolen credit card was used at a Foot Locker in the Florida mall.

Detectives said surveillance inside the Foot Locker and outside the Mall of Millenia was enough for Redding's girlfriend to identify him as the suspect who threw the woman to the ground. His girlfriend is quoted in court documents as telling investigators Redding said that he "hit it big" at the mall.

On the same day, court documents show Redding, along with three others, was accused of stealing one woman's purse outside the Florida mall and of stealing another woman's purse at a location near Windermere.

"They all involve women," Detective Michael Mandarano said. "Two of them were elderly, and the suspects, or one of them, snatched purses off the women and two of them, they caused significant injuries to their shoulders."

In all of the robberies, the same white Nissan Altima was described as being involved. Investigators located the car on Jan. 28 and arrested Redding, along with Gerald Jones, George Slaughter and Denardo Gray, records show.

"The suspects were identified relatively quickly," Mandarano said. "Within a day and a half. So, as far as putting out pictures and everything like that, they were identified and captured relatively quickly."

Redding posted bail on the charge earlier this month.

Online records for the Florida Department of Corrections also show Redding was sentenced to three years in prison, but only served about half that time.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Redding was convicted of attempted murder when he was 17 years old.

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