ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Persons of interest have been identified in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old Boone High School student, sources told Channel 9 reporter Shannon Butler on Tuesday.
Sources told Butler that teenagers involved in a stolen cellphone case in Parramore could also be connected to Alejandro Vargas Martinez's death.
The teenagers robbed a man in Parramore of his cellphone two weeks after Vargas Martinez's death, sources said. They said one teenager was fatally shot during the robbery.
Newly released court records in that case said detectives were focused on several people in connection with Vargas Martinez's death.
The records said prosecutors interviewed Deandre Florence three times after he and his friend, Denim Williams, were accused of trying to steal a cellphone from Curtis Fulcher in January.
Investigators said Fulcher fatally shot Williams in the back while he was running away.
They said Florence was arrested for felony murder charges for being there during the shooting.
Records said Florence, Williams and others are accused of being at the scene of Vargas Martinez's fatal shooting two weeks earlier.
During an interview before his arrest, Florence insisted he was not there, but DNA, surveillance video and text messages suggested otherwise.
Florence continued to change his story on who pulled the trigger, but he said the shooting was over a cellphone, records said.
Sources said there is more than one suspect in Vargas Martinez's death, but a motive and a suspect have not been revealed.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina provided Channel 9 with the following statement Tuesday:
"We work closely with all of our Central Florida Law Enforcement partners and often our cases and suspects cross jurisdictional lines. We can’t comment on the Alejandro Vargas case, which is still an open and active investigation, but our homicide detectives continue to work all leads diligently so we can ultimately bring justice to Alex’s family."
Deputies said Vargas Martinez was shot at about 6:30 a.m. Dec. 18 while walking to school near Waldo Street and East Kaley Street, about half a mile from the school.
Investigators said Vargas Martinez was discovered with gunshot wounds after residents reported hearing gunfire. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Vargas Martinez lived in a nearby neighborhood that borders Hourglass Park.
The teen's best friend, Noella Heskett, said it's been hard coming to turn with her friend's death, but that she's glad there's finally been a break in the case.
"I was thinking like finally something's happening because it's, you know, been seven months," she said.
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