‘Very scary thing to experience:’ Shopper recounts shooting outside Osceola County Target

New York visitor walked into Target minutes before a man was shot and killed by a deputy outside.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Eva waters, a New York resident visiting Florida, said she was at the Target store on West Irlo Brunson Memorial Highway when a man was killed during an Osceola deputy-involved shooting outside the store.

Waters and her niece went to the store in search of Disney souvenirs but didn’t expect to come out to a crime scene.

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“You just don’t go to Target and think that you’re [going to] run into something like that,” she said. “You have to be aware of your surroundings, but, you know, that was a very scary thing to experience”

The evening of April 27, deputies opened fire into a car in the Target parking lot, killing 20-year-old Jayden Baez.

Records show two men suspected of stealing Pokémon cards and a pizza led to the deadly shooting.

“For somebody to lose their life over a frozen pizza and Pokémon cards — it tells you that it’s sad, and it also tells you how gun-happy and aggressive that Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was,” Waters said.

Waters feared they could have been hurt accidentally if they were in the parking lot minutes earlier.

“...In two minutes’ time, we could have been in (a) horrific incident ourselves,” she said.

Surveillance video released by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office shows what Waters said is her vehicle parking in the lot before she and her niece walked into the store.

“I’m more afraid, and it [has] caused me total anxiety,” Waters said. “And my niece as well: she doesn’t even want to go to Target anymore.”

She said they did not know what to expect when they walked out.

“I did think we could have lost our life going out that door,” she said.

Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez stated in a news briefing Monday the incident is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.