Man indicted in deaths of 2, including 16-year-old boy, near Sanford playground

Ernst Baptiste indicted on multiple charges, including 1st-degree murder

Ernst Baptiste (Sanford Police Department)

SANFORD, Fla. – The man accused of killing two people, including a 16-year-old boy, near a Sanford playground in April was indicted on charges stemming from the shooting.

Ernst Baptiste was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, unlawful use of two-way communication device and resisting an officer without violence.

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The Sanford Police Department responded to the Overlook at Monroe Apartments off State Road 46 on April 13 where they found Darius Dvon Moore, 16, and Willie Keshawn Baker III, 22, with gunshot wounds. The two were taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Police have identified two people, including a 16-year-old boy, who died after a shooting near a playground in a Sanford apartment complex Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators said Baker arranged a meeting with Baptiste for drugs. Police said Baptiste planned with Moore and others, still being investigated, to rob Baker.

The department said both Baker and Moore fired guns and killed each other. Baptiste then took 490 grams of cannabis and ran away, police said.

“The shooting took place on the opposite side of that playground, literally feet from where children could have been playing,” Bianca Gillett, public information officer with Sanford police, said during a news conference after the shooting. “It was after school hours. We are lucky tonight that we’re not reporting something else. That a child wasn’t injured because of somebody’s careless, careless actions.”

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or who may have surveillance video of the area to contact Sanford police at 407-688-5070.


About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.