Two months later, still no answers in shooting death of 24-year-old man

Family, friends seeking closure after death of Julian Colom

By Nadeen Yanes - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Tuesday marks two months since 24-year-old Julian Colom died after being shot in a wealthy Orange County home and his family and friends are still looking for answers.

On Feb. 17, Orange County deputies say they got a call for an "accidental" shooting at the home friends say was of an old friend, on Park Springs Circle between Windermere and MetroWest in Orange County. Back then, deputies didn't say much about the investigation. 

"A weapon was recovered inside the residence," Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jane Watrel said days after the shooting. "Detectives are awaiting more information from an autopsy and forensics processing before determining the exact cause of death. This is an active and open death investigation, and no further information will be released at this time."

However, two months later, family and friends said they haven't had any more updates. 

"It's very, very hard," Julian's mother, Lara Rose, said via Facebook.

They created a Facebook Page called "Justice for Julian Colom."  It reads, "Julian was a loving and caring man who deserves justice." 

Family and friends have also sent letters to Sen. Bill Nelson's office. Meanwhile, friends at the Orlando Brazilian Jui-Jitsu gym where Colom trained still wonder what happened.

"I didn't realize it's been two months," friend Darin Shapiro said. "Whenever his name comes up, it's usually people are kind of angry because they are still confused and they really want to know what happened. We just wish we had more information." 

News 6 reached out to the Medical Examiner's Office, which can usually release cause and manner of death. However, in this case, the Medical Examiner's Office said at the request of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, they were asked not to share those details. 

"The Orange County Sheriff's Office has requested that the records be withheld based upon an ongoing investigation," wrote Samary Lopez-Hill, the Forensic Records Coordinator for the District Nine Medical Examiner's Office.

News 6 then asked Orange County detectives why it wasn't available for release and why no other information has come out since Colom's death.

"We certainly understand the concern of the family. The latest is that the investigation is open an ongoing and there is nothing additional to release at this time," said Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jeff Williamson. "We must let the investigation run its course."

Williamson also said once detectives are ready to release more information, they would certainly tell the family first. According to the Colom family attorney, they have a meeting with detectives on Thursday.

"I think everybody would feel better to at least have some feeling that they know what happened and if anything wrong did happen, that there is some justice for it," Shapiro said.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that Colom died in Windermere. The story has been updates to reflect that Colom was found in unincorporated Orange County.

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