• 1 killed, several injured when gunfire erupts at birthday party in Pine Hills


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County deputies are searching for gunmen who opened fire at a birthday party in Pine Hills on Sunday, killing one person and wounding five others.

    Okeem Jarvis, 24, was killed in the shooting on Charleen Terrace near Silver Star Road  about 4 a.m. Sunday.

    Investigators said they believe more than 100 people attended the party. Party goers told Channel 9 they were terrified as the shots rang out and the fun turned to chaos.

    Investigators believe several people were involved in the gun battle.

     “[There was] blood everywhere and it was like shocking. You’re walking and you see like three bodies on the floor,” Esron Johnson said. “You can’t go out and have fun because you can’t be safe.”

    Some of the bullets struck Roger George’s catering van as he was serving food.

    "I was serving some food and the next thing I know it went ballistic," said George. "I ran for shelter, then it was over. It happened so quickly."

    George said he ran behind the van and used it as a shield.

    “It happened right in front of me,” George said. “There were multiple guns shooting at one time.”

    Crime scene tape and evidence markers covered the streets.

    Deputies said they believe multiple shooters made their way inside the home and opened fire.

    “It’s surprising how four people got hit. It could have been like 10 or 20 people hit,” Johnson said.

    Neighbors said the homeowner would host parties on a weekly basis and it was a place where they could enjoy themselves.

    Detectives questioned people who were at the party to try to find a suspect and motive for the attack, but they do believe a fight over a girl may have sparked the shooting.

    CSI and detectives also spent hours at the Pine Hills house collecting evidence in an effort to build a case and find the shooters.

    “There are plenty of people that saw and heard what happened and they are trying to get them to come forward,” said Jane Watrel with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re told there was a dispute over a female.”

    As the victims were rushed to nearby hospitals, deputies received statements from witnesses at a separate location.

    Neighbors said they are now worried that the home that once drew party goers may now be compromising their safety.

    “It’s very disappointing that somebody would do something like that, without even thinking about their surroundings. A bullet doesn’t have a name on it,” said a neighbor, who didn’t want to be named.

    Deputies said they're working with code enforcement to try and put a stop to the parties.

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    1 killed, several injured when gunfire erupts at birthday party in Pine Hills