Man shot to death, woman injured during 1-year-old’s birthday party at Florida Airbnb, deputies say

Fatal shooting happened in unincorporated Davenport in Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A man was killed and a woman was injured in a shooting at an Airbnb rented for a 1-year-old’s birthday in Polk County, according to sheriff’s officials.

The shooting happened at 12:30 a.m. Sunday on Robin Road during a birthday party.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the 27-year-old Orlando man delivered two plates of food to people in a vehicle in front of the rental property.

“The man turns around and walks toward the house and there is a volley of gunshots that rings out. (The victim) is knocked down from the gunfire. He jumps up and is now trying to get into the house,” Sheriff Grady Judd said during a news conference Monday.

Judd said one of the people in the vehicle then got out of the car and opened fire again.

“Now understand that in the process of hearing the first volley of gunshots, victim two — who was a 26-year-old black female — she runs to the door and as she’s running to the door, she is shot through the door and she struck in the thigh,” Judd said.

The vehicle then drove to the front of the subdivision toward Osceola Polk Line Road.

The victims were taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center, where the man later died, deputies said. The 26-year-old woman from Sanford is expected to make a full recovery.

The sheriff did not reveal the identities of the victims or any information about possible suspects.

The sheriff did say that, while violence at parties hosted at short-term rentals is not uncommon, this particular shooting did not fit the normal profile of an unruly house party.

“We’re not talking about a massive number of people at this particular party,” Judd said. “This truly — and that’s why it’s suspicious to us — this was truly family and close friends.”

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that may lead to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-226-8477.

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About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.