Girl, 14, remains hospitalized after drive-by shooting that killed her grandmother

Billy Desrosiers charged with first-degree murder

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group, Jerry Askin - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A 14-year-old girl remains hospitalized a day after her grandmother was killed in a drive-by shooting on 24th Street in Orange County.

The man accused of shooting and killing Ruby Steplight, 83, on Saturday appeared before a judge Sunday.

"Because everybody knew that it was going to be a time when she was going to go, we just never knew in a million years it was going to be like this," said the victim's granddaughter, Lawanda Steplight.

Billy Desrosiers, 29, was arrested Saturday after officials said he pulled up in front of a home in a black car and started firing, fatally striking Ruby Steplight and injuring her granddaughter. 

Billy Desrosiers

Family members said Ruby Steplight, who had three children and more than 20 grandkids and was active at Kingdom Building Church International, was cleaning out her refrigerator when she was struck by gunshots inside of her home.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"My grandma was the sweetest person you’ll ever know. It wasn’t her problem. It wasn’t her beef -- none of that," said Lawanda Steplight.

The 14-year-old girl suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. Family members said the bullet is still inside her, so she may need surgery, but as of Sunday, despite remaining in the hospital, she was walking and talking.

The family believes the shooting was in retaliation to something that happened early Saturday, though they don’t believe Ruby Steplight or her granddaughter had anything to do with the shooting. Deputies aren't releasing anything additional about a motive at this time. 

"We don't fully believe it was random because of the altercation that may have preceded the event,” said Jeff Williamson, a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Desrosiers has been charged with first-degree murder with a firearm. He is being held without bond.

The family hasn't released details on funeral plans for Ruby Steplight. They're planning a vigil to remember her on Monday evening. 

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