• Police: Person of interest arrested after woman injured in Sanford drive-by shooting

    By: Jason Kelly


    SANFORD, Fla. - A person of interest was arrested on an unrelated charge Tuesday after a 34-year-old woman was injured earlier in the day in a drive-by shooting, the Sanford Police Department said.

    The shooting was reported shortly after 1:30 a.m. outside a home on Anderson Avenue near East 20th Street and Summerlin Avenue, police said.

    Investigators said the woman was in front of the home when a passenger in a red Pontiac shot her in the foot.

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    Hear the victim describe being shot below:

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    Shariema Smith, a mother of three, told Channel 9 that she was sitting outside, relaxing after working a shift at Red Lobster when she saw a car slowly approach her. Seconds later, a bullet pierced her foot.

    "All you saw was somebody with their hand out, and they just shot and then sparks," she said. "I ran in the house. I closed the door. By the time I got in the house, I realized I was shot in my foot."

    Smith was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. She said her doctors told her it will take up to eight weeks for her to fully recover.

    "I can feel it," she said. "I have never been shot before."

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    Smith did not think she was the intended target of the shooting, or that the shooter had a target in mind.

    "I just think they were riding around trying to find somebody to shoot," she said.

    The shooting comes three years after Smith's leg was injured when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver in New Smyrna Beach, she said.

    "The violence needs to stop. It needs to stop," she said. "(There) was no reason for it. It's senseless. The people don't know me, and I don't know them. But they could've (taken) my life."

    Police said there have been at least eight shootings in Sanford in the last month. It's unknown if Smith was targeted.

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    Police said they caught up with the driver, but he drove off after a passenger ran from the car.

    A helicopter and K-9 units were used to find the passenger, who is considered a person of interest in the shooting, police said.

    Police haven't released the identity of the 18-year-old man, who they said is being jailed on a probation violation.

    The shooting remains under investigation.

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