DNA on car door led to arrest in teen’s fatal shooting at Casselberry park, police say

Suspect was planning to steal marijuana from victim, report says

CASSELBERRY, Fla. – DNA found on a car door handle led to an arrest in the fatal shooting of a teen at a park in 2018 during a drug deal gone wrong, according to the Casselberry Police Department.

Police said 17-year-old Bryce Williams drove to Lake Hodge Park the night of Jan. 1, 2018 with two friends to “serve marijuana or get marijuana” but as he was parked, a man approached the vehicle, tapped on the window with a gun, opened the car door and shot Williams.

A witness said, “Bryce barely had time to look up at the suspect” and the suspect only opened the door enough to get his arm inside, according to the report.

Williams’ friend said the shooter didn’t say anything, records show.

After the shooting, police said Williams looked around, drove forward, slumped over and crashed into a house.

The gunman -- later identified as 20-year-old Antwann Ricks -- ran away after the shooting, along with two friends who were several feet behind him when he pulled the trigger, according to the report.

A swab was taken from the driver’s side door and DNA was located, records show. Police said they received a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s laboratory on Sept. 12, 2018 indicating that the DNA belonged to Ricks, authorities said.

Investigators requested cellphone records showing who Ricks was with at the time of the fatal shooting and one of those men had a vehicle that matched the description of the getaway vehicle, records show.

Ricks’ friends initially denied being at the scene at the time of the shooting but cellphone data showed they were lying, according to the report.

During an interview late last month, a friend of Ricks admitted he was with the suspect and two other males at the park with the intent to commit a robbery, authorities said.

The man said he drove the group to the park and used an app to message a person to find out who had marijuana, then that person set up a marijuana deal involving Williams and Ricks, records show.

The driver remained in the vehicle while the three other men approached Williams but then the driver heard a pop and all three men came running back to the Kia and the driver sped off, according to authorities.

As they were driving away, Ricks said he accidentally shot Williams, the report said.

Ricks was arrested Tuesday on charges of felony homicide, one count of armed burglary to a conveyance and one count of assault with intent to commit a felony.

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