2 men arrested in connection with deadly shooting during argument at family party in Poinciana

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Two men were arrested Monday in connection with the deadly shooting of another man during an argument at a home in the Poinciana neighborhood, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said.


Deputies said they were called at about 1 a.m. Sunday to a shooting on Doncaster Court near Marigold and Laurel avenues.

They said they discovered Steven Jesus Perez, 31, lying on the ground with gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said an argument broke out during a family party and it escalated into a shooting.

They said Perez brandished a gun, but he was shot while retreating.

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Detectives said the suspected gunmen -- Liam Nicholson, 28, and Maximo Mercado Jr., 41 -- drove away from the scene in a black vehicle that deputies followed in a helicopter.

They said the suspects were seen exiting the vehicle on Brookstone Drive and someone threw items in a nearby pond, including a pistol.

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Nicholson was booked into the Osceola County Jail on the following charges: second-degree murder, accessory after the fact, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, tampering with evidence and battery.

Mercado was charged with second-degree murder, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling and tampering with evidence.

See a map of the scene below:

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

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

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