78ºF

Teen's attempt to steal phone prompted fatal Parramore shooting, police say

16-year-old fatally shot during e-commerce deal

ORLANDO, Fla. – Two days after a 16-year-old was fatally shot in Parramore, investigators still aren't sure anyone will be charged in connection with his death, according to the Orlando Police Department.

Officers said in a news release Friday that the preliminary investigation indicated Denim Williams was trying to steal a phone from a couple he'd agreed to purchase it from online when the husband fired his gun at Williams.

That man and his wife, who is pregnant, called 911 after the shooting to explain what happened. They said that they arranged a sale of an iPhone X, which is valued at about $900, through Offer Up and went to an area near Polk and Jefferson streets around 11:50 a.m. Wednesday to make the sale.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Victim in Orlando' s first homicide of 2019 ID'd as 16-year-old boy]

The man told a 911 operator that the phone was dead so they charged it for a few minutes while they were with the potential buyer and that's when another male approached.

"The one that had the phone looked like he was reaching for something and that's when my wife did what she had to do since we were both in the same situation right there and then that's when they took off and then we took off. I saw them get in a red car," the man said. "So I don't know if they're hit, I don't know what's going on. I know we discharged out firearm at them when I thought he was pulling a firearm on me."

Authorities have not said if Williams was armed or if he was with anyone else before the shooting. A witness who called 911 said she saw the shooter chasing two young men.

Police said they found Williams in a driveway on West Jefferson Street when they arrived, but he later died.

"The dude that got shot, he's in the car and the door's locked. I think he's dying," a witness told a 911 operator.

A witness told News 6 that Williams was shot in the head inside a car, but police have not released any other details about the shooting.

photo

Williams' mother, Felica Brown, said she is struggling with the death of her son, who was a sophomore at Jones High School.

"Somebody gunned him down like a dog," Brown said.

She said she had just seen Williams before the shooting took place.

"My son left 15 minutes prior then I got a phone call that he was dead," Brown said.

Williams' family said he was working to get back on track and had just finished a 1-year program aimed at turning his life around.

"He was just trying to get his life better, and his brothers looked up to him and he was trying to give them something to look up to," Williams' cousin, Linzay Stevenson, said.

Family members are working to raise money for a funeral for Williams by holding a fish fry at the Callahan Community Center this weekend. It will be open for anyone to attend Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m.

As of Friday afternoon, police said the couple involved in the shooting was cooperating with investigators and it was still unclear whether any charges would be filed.

The investigation is ongoing.

Williams' death was the first homicide of 2019 in Orlando.


About the Author: