Orange County

Suspect who randomly shot women at 2 Orlando hotels says it ‘felt good,’ provided ‘sense of relief’

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies said a man accused of shooting two women at two different Orange County resorts Wednesday evening told them it “felt good” to shoot at people and “provided him a sense of relief.”

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Deputies said Jailen Houston, 19, of Dallas, Georgia, is charged with one count of first-degree attempted murder with a firearm and more charges are expected.

Houston is accused of shooting two women at two different Orange County resorts within 10 minutes.

Deputies said Houston walked into the lobby of Westgate Lakes Resort on Turkey Lake Road and opened fire, shooting a woman in her 20s. They said he drove away in a Lexus and the woman was taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center.

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Ten minutes later, deputies said the same man went to Marriott’s Cypress Harbour Villas -- two and a half miles away -- and shot the hotel’s security guard, a woman in her 20s.

That woman was also taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where she underwent surgery.

Deputies said there were other locations where he was reported to have fired multiple shots, including at an apartment complex on Integra Cove Boulevard, but no one else was injured.

Investigators said Houston then fired shots at two cars and a Mears bus at Central Florida Parkway and Westwood Boulevard. No one was injured in those shootings.

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The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy was driving on Interstate 4 near the Orange-Osceola County line at 11 p.m. Wednesday when he observed a crash in front of him.

The deputy said he approached Houston, who was sitting on a guardrail beside the car.

Investigators said the deputy observed an AR-15 rifle in the passenger seat of the car and took Houston into custody.

When asked during an interview if he would conduct similar shootings in the future, Houston said that he would, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Houston told investigators that he drove to Orlando on Monday to enroll at a local university.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.