5 teens arrested in connection to shooting death in Polk County, deputies say

Andres Pineda, 18, is facing manslaughter charges.

Andres Pineda, 18 (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MULBERRY, Fla. – A Mulberry man and four juveniles have been arrested in connection to a shooting death on Wednesday, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a news release, 18-year-old Andres Garcia Pineda called 911 on Sept. 21 to report that he had shot his friend.

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Deputies responded to the Mulberry home and found Cesar Rosales, 19, on the ground with a gunshot wound, the report said. Rosales was taken to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries.

Detectives learned Rosales and Pineda were living in the home together along with four other teenagers, according to the report.

According to the report, witnesses told officers the six housemates were in the house when Rosales went out to the porch. Then, Pineda told detectives he picked up a handgun off the couch and checked to see if it was loaded, inadvertently pulling the trigger. The bullet went through the glass door and hit Rosales, deputies said.

The next day, detectives spoke to the other teens who corroborated Pineda’s story, and said they did not know where the gun was, according to the report. However, officers did a search of the teens’ cellphones and saw texts between two of the teens saying not to tell officers where the gun is, the report reads.

Officers confronted the teens with this information, and they confessed that they had cleaned the gun and hid it in a nearby field, according to deputies.

Pineda is facing charges of manslaughter and is currently being held in the Polk County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

The four teenagers are all facing charges of tampering with evidence and giving false information to a law enforcement officer, they are being held in the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center.

About the Author:

Penny De La Cruz started working at WKMG-TV in September 2021. Before joining News 6, Penny worked at KSAT 12 in San Antonio, Texas.