Man found shot to death in backyard of Sanford home, police say

Toby Martin identified as shooting victim

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager, Mark Lehman - Reporter

SANFORD, Fla. - A 28-year-old man was found shot to death Thursday night at a home on Willow Avenue in Sanford, police said.

The victim was identified as Toby Martin.

Police said it's unclear if Martin was shot by someone on foot or driving by, but it appeared someone targeted Martin, who was shot multiple times.

"I was sitting on my front porch and it sounded like what I thought would be fireworks at first. It was like pow pow pow," neighbor Angela Reeder said. "It went on for like 15 rounds, and me and my mom were on the porch and were about to duck. I was covering my mom, like, that was a shooting. It wasn't a minute and a half later that cops came flying from down here (and) people (were) screaming."

Several people were in the backyard of the home when the shooting occurred, according to authorities.

"Of the many individuals who were in the backyard at the time of the shooting, none have remained to speak to investigators," said Sanford spokeswoman Bianca Gillett. "We know that he was surrounded most likely by friends or people that knew him this evening when he was shot and killed. What we're asking is for those friends to come forward and to give the vital pieces of information that our investigators need to solve Toby's murder."

The shooting is the fifth in Sanford in five days, officials said.

"Frustration does not accurately depict my feelings regarding the shootings that have taken place in the Sanford community this week," Sanford police Chief Cecil Smith said. "These incidents do not just impact the victims and their families. We are all affected by this violence. It is up to us as a community to decide together that this type of violence is not acceptable here in Sanford. Those who know what happened need to speak up and speak out against these senseless and devastating acts of violence."

An investigation is ongoing.

Stay with ClickOrlando.com for more on this developing story.

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