ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A 23-year-old man was killed during a shooting in Zellwood Tuesday morning following “trash talk” on Instagram, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said the shooting occurred shortly after 11 a.m. in the area of the 7300 Block of Holly Creek Road in Zellwood.
Upon arrival, deputies said they found a man in his 20s who was shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office identified the victim as Demonte Cherry, 23.
Deputies said they have arrested 19-year-old Malik Fisher on a first-degree murder charge in the shooting.
Investigators said Cherry and Fisher had known each other due to conflicts on the social media website Instagram on Aug. 1, in which Cherry went on to “trash talk” friends of Fisher’s who had recently been killed in Central Florida. In response, Fisher began making threats against Cherry, investigators said.
Wednesday morning, Fisher and two others drove to a cul-de-sac a few miles from Cherry’s home to smoke marijuana, deputies said.
According to investigators, as the trio were preparing the drugs, Cherry began to drive toward the cul-de-sac, and Fisher pointed out that he was “going to just shoot Cherry right now.”
As Cherry tried to make a U-turn to leave the cul-de-sac, Fisher ran up to the half-open driver’s side window of Cherry’s car and shot at Cherry with a handgun, deputies said. Cherry then returned fire with his own firearm, striking Fisher in the leg, investigators said.
Based on eyewitness accounts, investigators said Fisher may have shot two-to-three more times as Cherry attempted to flee on foot.
According to deputies, Fisher called 911 following the shooting, telling operators that Fisher had suffered a gunshot. However, deputies said he didn’t provide any other details on the shooting when asked.
Investigators said Fisher later streamed a video on Instagram, which shows Fisher showing off the gunshot wound to his leg and repeatedly yelling, “You f*** n**** gonna die, boy!”
Investigators added they believe the video was intended for Cherry and that Fisher was unaware at the time that Cherry had died.
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Sabrina Smith, who said she was Cherry’s aunt, told News 6 that he was the kind of person who would “give you his shirt off his back.”
“I’m gonna really miss my nephew. He didn’t deserve to go away like that,” she said. “Nobody’s family deserves to go away like that.”
Trina Smith, who told News 6 she was the mother of the victim, said he was in school and working.
“He was getting ready to leave and, last time I talked to him, he was in the house having breakfast — the last conversation we had together,” she said.
Deputies said Cherry’s vehicle — a blue Chevrolet Cobalt — was later found parked at his mother’s home, and the mother’s vehicle — a black Lincoln MKX SUV — was instead found at the scene of the shooting when deputies arrived.
According to deputies, the mother has been uncooperative in providing details about how Cherry’s vehicle got to the house or the whereabouts of Cherry’s firearm.
Deputies said a woman in her 20s and a man in his late teens were also shot during the same incident. They transported themselves to the hospital and are expected to survive, investigators said.
Fisher faces charges for first-degree murder with a firearm.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back here for updates.
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