Retail Theft a Motive in Shooting

A theft at a Winter Park, Florida, Goodwill store led to a shooting and lock-down at Rollins College on Monday, according to police. Jerad Christopher Vasquez, 19, was taken into custody after 9 p.m. Monday, they said. North Orange Avenue was shut down between Denning Drive and Holt Avenue into Tuesday morning, when the road was reopened. An arrest report says Winter Park Police answered a call about shoplifting at a Goodwill location on Orange Avenue. People inside the store said a man identified as “Jay” (now thought to be Vasquez) left before police arrived. When officers saw Vasquez on Orange Avenue, they say he ran toward Holt Avenue.

Another police officer said she recognized Vasquez from a description police sent out and went to drive toward him when an unknown man ran toward Vasquez. Police say that’s when Vasquez shot the man. That person was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said Vasquez fired three or four more shots at the officer’s vehicle, then ran off. Two bullets hit the vehicle’s windshield and one hit the hood. Vasquez was found hiding underneath a trailer near Alfond Stadium at about 9 p.m. Monday.

Vasquez is facing two charges of attempted first-degree murder on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, plus other charges of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, aggravated battery, resisting an officer with violence, petit theft and shooting or throwing a missile into a dwelling. Police said Vasquez’s mother told them her son was arrested in April 2018 for theft and burglary and was on probation for two years. They said Vasquez reportedly told his mother that he was “not going to jail,” that he was “scared,” and that he asked his mother to come and get him. For a portion of the day after the shooting, Rollins College students were urged to shelter in place.   [Source: Spectrum News13]

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