Deputies: Toddler grazed by bullet in drive-by shooting at Orange County home

ORLANDO, Fla. — A 2-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet Saturday night during a drive-by shooting at a home, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

The shooting was reported shortly after 8:30 p.m. at the home on 23rd Street near South Orange Blossom Trail.

The boy was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries and was released the same day, deputies said.


Deputies said the child's father called 911 after hearing an estimated 20 to 30 gunshots and noticed his son was injured. He said the family was watching television in the living room at the time of the shooting.

The child's mother, who asked to not be identified, told Channel 9 on Monday that she believes whoever shot an assault rifle at her home was targeting someone else.

She said a man armed with a knife had visited the home two hours before the shooting, asking for someone named Jojo.

The woman, who moved to the home in August, said she told the man she does not know anyone by that name.

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"He kind of mean mugs (me) and says, 'OK. Jojo's not here? You'll regret that,'" she said. "The gentleman then kind of seemed irritated. It scared me. He looked behind me. I thought he might come (into) the house."

Hours later, bullets pierced the front door, a window and the walls of her home, she said.

Her husband and her 12-year-old son had been standing in the doorway moments before the shooting, she said.

"If the shooting started 30 seconds before, my 12-year-old probably would have been decapitated," the woman said. "My husband definitely would have been shot."

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She said her husband dove toward the ground to shield their toddler from gunfire.

A bullet flew through her husband's hair and two bullets grazed their younger son, who was left with burns and scratches on his back, she said.

"I'm seeing stuff flying and dust. I hear my baby, husband," she said. "We all go down on the floor. My 12-year-old's in the back, screaming."

The woman said she is grateful her family survived the shooting, but it has left them traumatized. She said her older son sought counseling at school Monday.

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"It was definitely targeted at that house. It was meant for that house. It was meant to kill somebody in that house," she said. "That's the only home I have for my kids. My kids aren't even safe in their own home."

The woman said she described the gunman to investigators, who have commissioned a composite sketch.

She said surveillance cameras at a nearby business might have recorded the shooting, which remains under investigation.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday afternoon tweeted grainy surveillance footage of a vehicle of interest. The agency asked anyone with information to call Crimeline at 407-423-8477.