Suspect shook man's hand before shooting him in the head, deputies say

Benjamin Heyward arrested in connection with Magnolia Court condos shooting

Benjamin Heyward
Benjamin Heyward

LOCKHART, Fla. – A murder suspect shook his victim's hand before fatally shooting him in the head and wounding another man at Magnolia Court condos Tuesday morning, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Benjamin Heyward, 31, was arrested hours after the shooting that left Matthew Jafari, 19, dead and Sasmon Tavares, 19, suffering from a gunshot wound to his arm, the report said.

Tavares told deputies that he and Heyward were roommates at one point, but recently they had been arguing, so they agreed to meet at Magnolia Court condos on Forest City Road around 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to the affidavit.

Tavares and Jafari went to an area near the tennis courts to meet Heyward, who arrived with two other men. Deputies said Heyward shook Jafari's hand "and immediately shot him in the head" with a black semi-automatic handgun.

Heyward is also accused of shooting Tavares in the arm as he was running away from the scene.

Deputies said Heyward was found inside a unit at Magnolia Court condos around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

While being booked into the Orange County Jail, Heyward handed a correctional officer a plastic bag with 13 grams of methamphetamine inside, according to the affidavit.

Heyward was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, possession of  methamphetamine, introduction of contraband into a facility, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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