ORLANDO, Fla. – A gang targeted the wrong home in an Orlando drive-by shooting that killed a 6-year-old girl, according to the Orlando police chief.
Nico Brown, 15; Kny Adams and Brandon James Pickett, both 17; and Ricky Raymond Bowery Jr., 18, face charges of first-degree homicide stemming from the Aug. 29 shooting on Poppy Avenue. The shooting also killed a 19-year-old man and injured the girl’s mother.
During a Thursday news conference about the Orlando Police Department’s efforts to reduce violent crime, Chief Eric Smith said the shooting happened after an ongoing argument involving a gang.
“This is basically the 438 gang arguing with the Carver Shores boys and they’re basically doing it on social media on a live platform arguing back and forth, those guys get mad, jump in the car go down there and do a drive by shooting and go to the wrong house,” Smith said.
Police said Ajahliyah Hashim, 6, and her mother were shot in their home and taken to a hospital, where the girl later died. A third person, 19-year-old Isaiyah Wright, was dropped off at Health Central in Ocoee and was later pronounced dead. It has not been disclosed how the 19-year-old was involved in the shooting.
The chief said he chose to identify the gangs because “it’s gotten to the point where we have to make a difference.”
“Now we know exactly which gangs are doing what and how they’re doing it. So we need to target them and bring it to everybody’s attention,” Smith said.
Smith expressed the importance of getting kids on the right path before it’s too late.
“We just need to give them a lot of offerings that offer a lot of better roads for them and point out the reasons for taking a better road,” Smith said.
News 6 also asked Smith where kids are getting their hands on guns, and he said they’re primarily stolen.
“Most of the guns that kids get their hands on are stolen — stolen out of cars,” Smith said. “They’re stolen out of home burglary.”
When asked specifically if all four suspects shot at the home or if there was only one shooter, Smith said that was part of an ongoing investigation.
Susan Williams lives in the Carver Shores neighborhood. She said because of OPD’s ability to make four arrests so quickly, she and her neighbors are beginning to feel safe again.
“It used to be you couldn’t go anywhere because the crime was out there, Now, they’re bringing the crime to you,” Williams said. “Because the police I mean less than a week -- that makes all of us feel kind of getting relaxed, not being afraid, we’re getting comfortable back here.”
Smith said some solutions they’re looking at include putting in more cameras at Poppy Park and partnering with vendors to giveaway doorbell cameras to residents.
“As you can imagine, a neighborhood like Carver Shores, you know, our cameras are usually, you know, at the end of streets and things like that nature just because of the way it is,” Smith said. “But you get a whole lot of houses together --you know, we sort of go blind in those areas, you know. But if we had a lot of doorbell camera that people can share their doorbell footage with us after it happens. It would be helpful to us.”
State Attorney Andrew Bain said on Wednesday that his office would look at charging the suspects under 18 as adults.
“The path to a safer community begins with swift and decisive action against violent criminals and those responsible for heinous crimes, such as the one that has recently occurred,” Bain wrote in a statement. “The lives and well-being of our residents are of paramount importance and we stand united in our commitment to address this alarming trend that threatens public safety and challenges the very principles of peace and unity that we hold dear.”
“This devastating incident has sent shockwaves through our community, leaving families in mourning and instilling fear among our residents. In response, we issue this resolute statement to make it abundantly clear that ‘gang and gun violence in our community will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,’” the state attorney’s office said in a statement.
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