Teen knew victims would be robbed in fatal Apopka shooting, deputies say

Rafael Ian Rojas, 19, charged in death of Alec Hammers, 22

Rafael Ian Rojas.
Rafael Ian Rojas.

APOPKA, Fla. – A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man in Apopka.

Deputies said Rafael Ian Rojas took part in setting up a drug deal and robbery that led to the slaying of Alec Emilio Hammers last month.

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According to a report, Hammers and his friend, who had previously engaged in drug transactions with Rojas, went to a home in the 500 block of South Ocean Avenue to sell cannabis to Rojas.

When the friend messaged Rojas to let him know he and Hammers were outside, Rojas told him he never bought cannabis from anyone who was in a vehicle and told him to come inside, according to the report.

The friend told detectives that was different than how Rojas had acted during previous exchanges and they had a weird feeling about going in the house, but they did. The friend also said he saw about 10 people he had never met in and around the house.

Deputies said the pair went inside with the package of drugs and waited for Rojas to weigh it. While they were waiting, the friend felt uneasy because two men were walking in and out of the living room with guns, the report said.

According to the report, one of the men, without being provoked, walked up to the friend and hit him in the eye with the gun, demanding he give him everything he had. The friend pushed past him and toward the door and encountered another man and began wrestling him, deputies said.

The second man threatened to shoot the friend and eventually shot him in the leg, according to the report. When Hammers tried to grab the cannabis and run, the friend said one of the men attacked Hammers before several gunshots went off.

The friend said he doesn't remember anything else after he was shot in the leg. He told investigators he woke up next to Hammers, who was unresponsive on the front porch. He said he believed Rojas, who fled after the shooting, set them up to be robbed, according to the report.

Deputies said Hammers died at the scene after being shot in the head. The friend was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Rojas was later identified in a photo lineup and, based on pictures and messages found on cellphones at the scene, he was charged with principal to robbery with a firearm and felony first-degree murder, according to the report.