Two men arrested in Winter Garden block party shooting


WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Two men were arrested Thursday in connection with a shooting last month at a Winter Garden block party, according to police.

Three people were injured May 27 in a vacant lot of Bay Street and Bethune Avenue in Orange County's jurisdiction.

A group of people at the party started to argue and half of the group walked away to 629 Bethune Ave. in Winter Garden, where three people were shot, police said.

"It appears these people know each other and that through the disturbance, obviously somebody got upset to the point that they pulled a firearm and shot into a crowd of people," Lt. Scott Allen with the Winter Garden Police Department said.

Johnathan Hightower, 22, was arrested Wednesday and Collin Modeste, 27, was arrested Thursday on Winter Garden police warrants.

Collin Modeste
Collin Modeste

Hightower was identified as one of the victims who was shot.

"Does that lead you to think there was some kind of gun battle or gunfire between multiple people?" News 6 reporter Amanda Castro asked. "There's obviously a question about his injury. I'm not ready to release where we're at on that yet, but we're looking into it," Allen said.

Police said the men are two of several people under investigation for the shooting. Police aren't saying how many other suspects officers are looking for in connection to the shooting.

"When you have something like this, it takes time to figure everything out and get everything in order," Allen said.

Allen told News 6 the community isn't in any danger.

"This was an incident amongst people who knew each other. This was not a random act," Allen said. "I wouldn't be concerned if I was a citizen living in the area. I wouldn't be concerned about my safety."

Hightower and Modeste are charged with attempted second-degree murder and possessing a firearm by a convicted felon.

Hightower made his first appearance Thursday. A judge set his bond at $21,215. Modeste is expected to be in court Friday.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Collin Modeste's name due to erroneous information given to News 6.

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