Pastor’s son found shot, killed at a church in Winter Haven

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies in Polk County are searching for motive after was found shot and killed at a church in Winter Haven.

The body of 20-year-old Roderick Wilson, Jr. was found early Sunday morning lying in the parking lot of the Pentecostal Church of God.


According to deputies, Wilson’s father is a pastor at the church, and was living in an apartment on church property.

Deputies were called to the scene around 1:45 p.m. after a passerby called 911 about a body at the church.


When deputies arrived the found Wilson’s body with multiple gunshot wounds.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Security video from a building in the area captured the murder, according to deputies.

The suspect was identified as 22-year-old Taquion “Quan” Cotton.

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Cotton lives a couple of streets over from the church and was arrested Sunday afternoon, while PCSO detectives were in the area searching for the suspect, they spotted Cotton in the roadway, not far from the crime scene.

Cotton ran to a nearby residence, assaulted a woman entering her home and put her in a chokehold.

Deputies said Cotton’s mother, who lives in the area, ran to the woman’s aid, and tried to assist deputies with apprehending her son.

Cotton then began biting his mother, forcing deputies to use a Taser on him.

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Once in custody, Cotton yelled at his mother, demanding that she not press charges against him for biting her, deputies said.

“Detectives are still trying to determine Taquion Cotton’s motivation to commit this murder. At this time, there is no indication the two men knew each other prior to tonight,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

“Despite the murderer being locked-up, there is still work to be done. Please keep Roderick Wilson’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Cotton’s firearm has not yet been recovered.

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Cotton was charged with multiple charges including, 1st Degree Murder, Burglary with Battery, Kidnapping, Battery-Domestic with Prior Conviction, Resisting with Violence.

According to a news release form the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Cotton’s prior criminal history includes 11 felonies and six misdemeanors consisting of: attempted murder, aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, burglaries, thefts, batteries, drug and weapons violations, and resisting.


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