ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A $5,000 reward is being offered for information on the third person involved in a diaper theft that led to a fatal shooting of another suspect at an Orange County Walmart store.
Deputies said a Walmart customer opened fire on Saturday morning on shoplifters who were stealing diapers from the store in the 5500 block of Clarcona Ocoee Road.
Investigators said 19-year-old Arthur Adams was hit multiple times and died at the hospital.
The gunman told investigators he fired because he thought one of the shoplifters was reaching for a weapon.
The alleged shooter was identified as a 50-year-old black male, and deputies said it will be up to the state attorney’s office as to whether he will face charges.
The man was not a member of law enforcement. Deputies have not said if he was legally able to carry a weapon.
Deputies said he was stepping in to help a Walmart employee who was confronting the suspects outside the store.
A second victim, only identified as a juvenile female, was hit in the leg, deputies said.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office learned about the girl hours after the shooting when she went to the hospital for treatment.
She is considered a witness in the case, deputies said.
A third person believed to have participated in the attempted shoplifting is still on the loose, deputies said.
Witness Renee Kirmani told Channel 9 she saw the three individuals pushing carts filled with diapers and other baby items to a car in the parking lot as a Walmart employee chased after them.
"I see them surrounding the car (and) the boys throwing stuff in," she said. "(The employee) was like, 'Don't get in the car.'"
Kirmani said she was too busy taking cover to see the shooting take place.
"That I didn't see," she said. "I heard shots and then we just ducked down, because we didn't know where the shots were going."
Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Angelo Nieves said the suspects got into the maroon Nissan Rogue and fled the scene. The Nissan was reported stolen during a carjacking on Jan. 13, deputies said.
Deputies said the driver of the Nissan hit two vehicles in the parking lot, causing one of the cars to spin, and everyone in the vehicle fled.
The suspect who was shot was found at a nearby Citgo gas station and was taken to the hospital where he died, authorities said.
Deputies said the investigation is ongoing and the witness who opened fire is cooperating with the investigation.
Workers at the Citgo told Channel 9 the injured suspect walked in and fell to the floor. They said they could tell he was shot multiple times in the leg and stomach.
Deputies said Adams is a known gang member and had been arrested 15 times. He was convicted of four felonies.
His friend, Naynay Porter, said Adams was a good person and should not have died that way.
“No mother should have to bury their kid,” she said. “He’s done some things in his past he (isn’t) proud of, but he didn’t have to die how he died.”
Deputies are interviewing witnesses and going through surveillance video to see if the suspects were armed.
Channel 9 contacted Walmart to learn about the company’s loss prevention policy, but the company declined to comment.
Statement from Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings:
"The Orange County Sheriff's Office detectives have been working with Walmart representatives and interviewing witnesses to determine the facts in the weekend shooting at the Wal-Mart store. The investigation is ongoing and we ask the community not to rush to judgement. The case will be presented to the State Attorney for review and appropriate charges will be determined for all involved. The use of deadly force will be evaluated based on law and the right to protect one's self or others from great bodily harm or death."
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