Jammed gun allows Orlando SWAT team to arrest man shooting in intersection

Man shoots in busy Orlando intersection, motive unknown

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ORLANDO, Fla. – A man who began shooting in a busy Orlando intersection Wednesday morning was arrested by SWAT team members after his gun jammed, allowing authorities to capture him without violence, the Orlando Police Department said.

Police said they received multiple 911 calls at 7:50 a.m. about Stephanos Carellas, 22, shooting a handgun at the intersection of Dowden Road and Randal Park Boulevard, east of State Road 417.

"He pointed it at me twice and later he do one shot," witness Jaime Ortiz said.

In the report, several people told police that they saw Carellas shooting his gun into the air.

Ortiz said he just arrived to the area minutes before the standoff started with his crew to mow the grass along the intersection. He told News 6 he hid behind his mower and called police.
"I'm lucky to be alive," Ortiz said.

Deputy Chief Robert Anzueto said when police arrived, Carellas was sitting in a vehicle and not moving. When Carellas pulled his gun out, officers backed away and called in the Orlando SWAT team in.

Witnesses told police Carellas was firing through his vehicle window.

When the SWAT team arrived, they immediately blocked off Carellas with their armored vehicles to pin him in, Anzueto said.

"We did not want him to go mobile in this situation," Anzueto said.

Police said authorities tried talking to Carellas through their PA system multiple times, but he did not respond to commands to put down his weapon.

Officers were able to see through their binoculars that the suspect's gun had jammed. They deployed gas to subdue him. Once Carellas came out with the gun in his hands, SWAT members deployed bean bags to take him into custody, Anzueto said.

Deputies said there were four bullets left in the gun's magazine and that he appeared to be disoriented and hallucinating. Carellas was in handcuffs by 9:56 a.m.

Anzueto added the situation could have ended in deadly force, but didn't.

"This guy had a gun. He was using lethal force and we could have used lethal force," Anzueto said. "We absolutely did the right thing by hitting him with gas."

Police have not released what type of gun Carellas was using, only that it was a handgun. His motive, or who he was trying to shoot, is also unknown.

Carellas was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, resisting officer without violence, discharging a firearm in public. 

Ortiz said he is thankful no one was hurt.

"I feel lucky. I see my life from the gun. He looked at me twice and pointed it at me. I feel lucky," Ortiz said.

Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Emilee hosts the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious. Previously, she was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a web producer at the Naples Daily News.