• Couple arrested after teen shot in head outside Bithlo home, deputies say

    By: Jeff Deal , Kelly Healey


    BITHLO, Fla. - Two people were arrested in connection with a shooting that left a 17-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.


    Deputies said the teen was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center in stable but serious condition.


    According to documents, Anita Rios took Pedro Mendez-Santiago with her to find her 14-year-old daughter, who didn't return home after school Tuesday.


    Rios, 39, was told that her daughter was hanging out with the 17-year-old boy at a home on 5th Street in Bithlo, the documents said.


    Mendez-Santiago, 38, told deputies that after they found the 14-year-old girl, a woman came out of the home wielding a knife and a young man came out holding a gun, documents said.


    Mendez-Santiago also told deputies that the group fired at each other. He said that he and Rios fired warning shots, documents said.


    Mendez-Santiago said he and Rios fled the scene, but they didn’t know someone had been shot, documents said.   


    Rios and Mendez-Santiago were arrested on East Colonial Drive, deputies said. They were booked into the Orange County Jail on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm.


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