Man wanted after shooting Rockledge 15-year-old; both involved with woman, police say

Shooting happened Saturday; woman accused of giving gun to victim

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Police in Rockledge on Monday identified a 19-year-old man whom they hope to arrest in the case of a 15-year-old boy who was shot Saturday night.

Police identified the wanted teen as Diante Stokes and said the suspect and juvenile victim were both in a relationship with Chanel Williams, 35, who was arrested Sunday.

“We’ve got a 35-year-old female that has been with both our suspect and our victim, one of them being a juvenile,” Deputy Chief Donna Seyferth said.

Officers responded to Hammock Harbor Apartments, according to the Rockledge Police Department. An update on the boy’s condition was unavailable Monday.

Police said Stokes shot the boy at least twice and drove off after the shooting.

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A witness who lives in the apartment with her siblings and Williams, her biological mother, said when she went out to walk the dog, she heard eight gunshots and discovered the boy was shot, an affidavit shows. According to the affidavit, the witness said Stokes had been “beefing” with the victim, threatening to kill him via messaging apps.

Another witness who lives in the apartment with the victim, who said their legal guardian was Williams, added he saw the victim running toward the pool area as they were going to the playground and also heard eight gunshots ring out, the affidavit reads.

While Williams is not charged with the shooting, police said she gave a gun she owned to the 15-year-old, which was found in his backpack after he was shot.

According to police, Williams told them she and Stokes had been out on a date Thursday when the suspect said to her he was jealous of the 15-year-old victim and how she bought him a firearm. When they drove back to the apartment in the parking lot that day, Stokes took Williams’ firearm and discharged multiple gunshots in the air, saying “this is to show them that I am serious about this” before Williams recovered it, the affidavit shows.

According to the affidavit, Williams also told the suspect she was moving to Jacksonville, to which he replied on Snapchat, “Something bad is going to happen and I am going to jail for a long time.”

Williams faces charges of child neglect with great bodily harm amounting to aggravated assault, furnishing a weapon to a minor or unsound person, causing a child to commit an act of delinquency and unsafe storage of a firearm, booking records show.

Her defense attorney told Judge Katie Jacobus Monday that Williams works as a nurse’s assistant.

“She has five minor children of whom she’s the sole caretaker and sole breadwinner for,” Jason Downs said.

The judge granted Williams a $45,000 bond under the condition she have no contact with children.

“Recklessness of the defendant causes the court to have great concern about the safety of the community,” Jacobus said.

Police said Williams will likely face additional charges related to the sexual relationship police said she had with the boy.

Police said at least three more minors stayed with Williams at her apartment, some of them her biological children.

Williams’ attorney disputed the allegations in an interview following the first appearance.

“The police reporting may be a little inaccurate and maybe the facts do not support the charges. So we’re looking forward to dealing with this case in court and securing Ms. Williams’ release,” Downs said.

Stokes faces a charge for attempted first-degree felony murder with a firearm.

Note: Due to the information provided, this map depicts the general area of the scene and not necessarily its exact location.

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About the Authors:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.