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Shooting victim killed near UCF says was unintended target, records show

Jonathan Bryant, 35, fatally shot, passenger says bullet was meant for him

Maurice Smith, left, and Andreas Lee are charged with first-degree murder with a firearm and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.
Maurice Smith, left, and Andreas Lee are charged with first-degree murder with a firearm and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies said the two men wanted in connection with a deadly shooting and crash near UCF last week turned themselves Monday. A survivor of the crash told deputies the fatal bullet was meant for him, not his 35-year-old friend who was killed.

The incident happened July 19 in the area of Challenger Parkway and North Alafaya Trail around 1 p.m. UCF officials said the cars never entered onto campus.

Tuesday, Andreas Lee and Maurice Smith appeared before an Orange County judge. They are charged with first-degree murder with a firearm and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm. 

Orange County sheriff's deputies said 35-year old Jonathan Bryant was shot and killed. He crashed into a separate car then died a short time later. Five people, including three children, were in the car Bryant collided with but they were not hurt.

Arrest records show the surviving passenger in Bryant’s car, Robert Ashe, said he knew the suspects for more than 16 years, and they were the ones who shot inside Bryant’s car and killed him. Ashe told deputies the men riding inside the car had been trying to kill him, according to records.

Deputies said Lee and Smith were in a white Nissan Altima and fled the scene shortly after shooting at Bryant's vehicle. They were on the run for a few days before turning themselves in.

Betty Jefferson said Bryant was like a son to her.

"It was just sad. It was real sad," she said. "That baby, he was innocent. Just at the wrong place at the wrong time."

She said Bryant wasn’t perfect, but was on the right track.

"I don’t know what kind of job he had, but I know he had a good job he was about to start on," Jefferson said.


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