Deputies: Stolen cellphone leads to shootout in Orange County



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A stolen cellphone led to a shootout at a busy Orange County intersection, according to investigators.

Around 2:30 p.m. Friday, a 15-year-old boy was pistol-whipped and his cellphone was stolen, deputies said.

The teenager’s dad took action and confronted the alleged thieves along Lancaster Road.

“Dad came up here trying to get his son’s stuff back and got shot,” resident Sabrena Touby said.

Officers said gunfire erupted near a Citgo gas station on Lancaster and Winegard roads, and bullets were sent flying by passing drivers.

The father was shot and driven by friends to Fire Station 51 on Oakridge Road, where emergency crews then rushed him to the hospital.

The search for evidence from the gun battle required deputies and detectives to work dangerously close to cars and trucks as they whizzed by.

Investigators put markers next to shell casings in the middle of West Lancaster Road, which was partially shut down for nearly two hours.

“It’s bad enough that people want to shoot each other, but at a busy intersection where innocent people can get shot—it’s very brazen that they do it in the middle of the day and it’s dangerous to everyone in the area,” said Lt. Paul Hopkins with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

A car that was left at a home close to the scene is somehow connected to the shooting, investigators said.

Deputies surrounded it with crime scene tape and searched for any clues.

The man who was shot had to have surgery and is in critical condition.

Deputies have not said if anyone has been arrested.