‘I’m not shocked:’ Woman says her son was shot to death in Orlando day after his 21st birthday

Mother says she bailed Demetrius Cox Jr. out of jail on Sunday

ORLANDO, Fla. – A man who turned 21 years old on Sunday was shot and killed in Orlando early Monday, likely while celebrating his milestone birthday, according to his family.

Jakia Burton said her son, Demetrius Cox Jr., was found shot to death hours after she bailed him out of jail in Osceola County, where he was facing murder charges in connection with a shooting at a house party last year.

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According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Cox was arrested on April 17 on a murder charge and granted bond Sunday.

Orlando police said officers responded to Amelia Street near Orange Blossom Trail after shots were fired in the area, and the victim was found dead near Westmoreland Drive and Bentley Street.

Officers in the area at the time said they saw a 2019 gray Dodge Charger bearing Florida license plate number HKNG58. That vehicle is now being sought and the occupants are believed to be armed and dangerous, according to a news release.

Anyone who sees the car or has information about the shooting is asked to call Crimeline by dialing **TIPS (8477) or the Orlando Police Department non-emergency line at 321-235-5300.

Burton said her son, one of four children, had been hanging with the “wrong crowd.”

“I’m not shocked, but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast,” Burton said.

No other details, including information about the suspected shooter, have been released by police.

Cox attended West Oaks Academy, an independent Christian school, his mother said.

Cox’s aunt, Shawanda Laster, said the family is also grieving the loss of his cousin, Curtis Johnson Jr. who was shot and killed in Winter Park last June.

“Some days it’s just hard, and now I got to relive this again. If anyone knows anything please talk,” Laster said.

This family said it wants gun violence to stop.

“Stop the violence and find something else to do. It ain’t worth it. We’re all losing kids out here,” Burton said.

“The gun violence is horrific since COVID,” Laster said. “It’s through the roof. Somebody needs to do something about this.”

The April shooting deputies said Cox was involved in happened months before a series of gang-related and retaliation shootings throughout Orange County, including two separate drive-by shootings that killed 3-year-old Daquane Felix and 14-year-old Joshua Atkinson in September. No one has been arrested in those cases.

“The reality is there’s got to be another way to deal with confrontation other than taking somebody’s life,” said Bishop Kelvin Cobaris.

Cobaris is on the Orange County Citizens Safety Task Force working to prevent crimes throughout Orange County. He said the task force plans to present its recommendations Wednesday to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings on ways to better prevent crime.

It’s also worth a mention, there have been several arrests in the many shootings that happened last year.

The family said it plans to hold a vigil for Cox on Monday night at the corner of Bentley Street and Westmoreland Drive.

Amelia Street was closed from Hames Avenue to Orange Blossom Trail, and Westmoreland Drive was closed between Livingston and Robinson streets while police investigated the fatal shooting.


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