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Armed robbery ends with suicide after pursuit into Orange County, police say

1 suspect dead, 1 in custody, police say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Tavares police said an armed robbery at a cellphone store ended when one suspect fatally shot himself and another was arrested following a pursuit by multiple law enforcement agency officers in Lake and Orange counties.

Police said two armed men forced their way into the store at 3:45 p.m. and stole multiple items before fleeing. A Lake County Sheriff's Office lieutenant spotted the suspects' vehicle and began pursuit, according to Tavares police.

Multiple police and Sheriff's Office vehicles began following the suspects, who entered Orange County jurisdiction. The Orange County Sheriff's Office was on the scene when the suspects bailed from their car after crashing near the entrance of Seminole Ridge Apartments on Silver Star Road.

"I just heard a boom that is all I heard and then that's when I saw all the cops," one witness said.

Police said one suspect was detained after K-9 units tracked him down and the other suspect died after shooting himself.

Orange County Sheriff's Office officials later identified the person who died of a self-inflicted gunshot as 22-year-old John Ilienens Jr.

Rhea-heen Rashawn White, 20, was arrested by Orange County deputies on suspicion of armed robbery with a firearm, grand theft less than $10,000 and aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony.

The investigation is ongoing.


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