Deputies ID man, 18, accused of shooting at law enforcement in Mount Dora

Suspect taken to hospital; Deputies and officers uninjured in shooting

Law enforcement officers apprehended a wanted suspect following a vehicle chase after the suspect crashed and began a shootout with police and deputies.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – An 18-year-old man in the hospital after shooting at law enforcement during a chase, forcing authorities to return fire, has been identified, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a home in Deltona on Sunday after a woman called to report she had been on the phone with her husband, Juan Santiago, when she heard him arguing with their son, Johnny Santiago.

During the phone call, deputies said she heard a loud noise and the call disconnected. The sheriff’s office responded to the home on E. Lehigh Drive where they found no one home. The sheriff’s office began searching for the white pickup truck that Johnny Santiago was known to drive and it was seen by law enforcement in Sanford and later in Mount Dora.

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According to law enforcement, a helicopter spotted Johnny Santiago’s white pickup Monday around 5 p.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 441 and Eudora Avenue in Mount Dora near a Walmart, at which point deputies attempted to pull the truck over.

An armed pickup truck driver was “involved in an officer-involved shooting” Monday afternoon in Lake County after Volusia deputies said the driver had earlier fled from law enforcement.

Afterward, officials said the man drove off toward Donnelly Street, eventually crashing near the intersection of Donnelly Street and 9th Avenue.

Reports show Johnny Santiago began shooting at police and deputies, causing law enforcement to return fire.

Law enforcement officials said Johnny Santiago was injured and surrendered. Officials added no law enforcement agents were hurt.

The man was flown to the hospital. The chase lasted approximately 10 minutes, records indicate.

Scene of an officer-involved shooting in Lake County (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“Right off the top of my head, I know that we’re looking at possible three counts of attempted murder on LEO firing from a moving vehicle, aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude — and probably a whole laundry list of other charges,” Lake County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer John Harrell said. “This was a pretty chaotic scene today.”

Bryan Trent, a loan officer who said he witnessed the event, told News 6 it was “astonishing.”

“You see things like this on TV and on YouTube, you know, the show ‘Cops’ or whatever,” he said. “But to see it live and just 80 or 100 feet away from you — it’s quite shocking.”

Mount Dora police and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will be filing charges.

Volusia deputies said Juan Santiago has not been found yet.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating this shooting.

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About the Authors:

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.

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.