‘I lost a life:’ Mother of shooting victim speaks after 7 men arrested in daughter’s death

Mother, brother of victim also attended

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Seven people were arrested in connection to a shooting that killed a woman months earlier, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez announced at a Friday news conference.

Mylam Yaheiya Peters, Jesus Ojeda-Garcia, Jose Antonio Cruz-Ortiz, Joshua Medina-Rosa, Juan Carlos Reyes, Daniel Alfredo Cruz and Jonathan Dejesus Hernandez-Brioso are all facing charges in connection to the October incident, in which a woman was shot and killed at Red Star Restaurant & Hookah Bar in Kissimmee.

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“Don’t let my daughter’s death be a cold case,” Michelle Rodriguez, the 23-year-old victim’s mother had told detectives. “I want them to do the same time that I’m doing here. I want them to do life because I have to do life without my child.”

Lopez said Danilee Hernandez was sitting in her car when she was caught in the crossfire of the seven armed suspects firing at a rival group of men, who they followed out of the bar after an argument.

Hernandez left her car, attempting to run away from the gunfire before she was shot and killed, according to investigators.

“There was one person who fired the bullet that killed Miss Hernandez, however, every person who was there who fired their weapon has been charged with murder,” Lopez said.

Hernandez’s mother and brother were also in attendance, two pieces of the family of three who “did everything” together.

Rodriguez remembered her daughter as a smart kid who was pursuing her dreams of becoming a nurse after graduating at the top of her class.

“Of course, like every parent says, (my daughter) was amazing, but she really was amazing,” said Rodriguez, holding back tears. " ... She had an amazing job. I worked for my daughter and that’s every parent’s dream, right? For your child to make more money than you. Then you did something right.”

Rodriguez said she still thinks of the person everyone describes as a young woman as “a kid” who just loved life.

Their mother-daughter bond couldn’t be broken, keeping up a tradition of painting nails together, even with different work schedules. Hernandez even planned to buy a duplex with her mom so her future grandchildren could come over and visit.

“We came here for a better life and I lost a life,” Rodriguez said.


About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.