Only on 9: Central Florida teen recalls being shot by Ocoee police officer after shoplifting report

OCOEE, Fla. — Only Channel 9 heard directly from the suspected 16-year-old shoplifter who was recently shot by Ocoee police.


Police said the teen had a weapon, but it was later determined that wasn’t the case.

Channel spoke exclusively with the teenager and his mother.

READ: Ocoee police officer shoots at oncoming vehicle as that driver was fleeing traffic stop

The incident started with police responding to a shoplifting call at a local Walmart store.

WFTV is not naming the teen due to his age. However, he described his injuries for Channel 9′s Phylicia Ashley.

“Two ribs fractured, a gunshot went through my lung, and there’s a bullet near my spine, an inch or two away,” the teen said.

Records show the items stolen during the shoplifting incident totaled approximately $186 in value, and they were left near the exit of the Walmart on West Colonial Drive.

The teenager told Eyewitness News he was with his mother’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Gregorio Mendoza-Moreno, and he didn’t know Mendoza-Moreno planned to leave the store with the items.

Mendoza-Moreno is now facing charges for theft, delinquency of a minor and eluding police.

On the way out of the Walmart. the two were approached by a Walmart employee.

“He started running,” the teen recalled. “I didn’t know what to do, so I started running.”

READ: Winter Garden man linked to multiple home burglaries near downtown Orlando, police say

Mendoza drove off with the teenager in the passenger seat. That’s when a police pursuit began.

“We went through the Gap and that’s when the police rammed into us,” the teen said.

Mendoza-Moreno stopped near a gas station and got out on the driver’s side.

The teen was shot seconds later.

“He raised his hand and had something in his hand that the officer thought was a weapon,” Ocoee Deputy Police Chief Vince Ogburn said the day after the shooting. “So he returned fire.”

“That’s bull crap,” the teen said in response to that narrative. “I can’t believe they would have said that. People we’re supposed to trust the most said that.”

The teen says there was never anything near his hands in the car and his hands never went up.

A report Eyewitness News obtained also shows the list of items left at the exit of the store that day. They include laundry detergent, socks and dog food.

READ: 5 arrested in connection with drug pop-up shop in Orlando

The Ocoee Police Department hasn’t responded to questions about the shooting or this new information.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating the shooting.

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