ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A Central Florida pastor is calling on rival gang members to put down their weapons.
What You Need To Know
- Drive-by gang shootings have killed two children in as many days
- There have been four drive-by shootings in the past week
- Orange County Sheriff John Mina says gang shootings are now his department's No. 1 priority
- Related: Mina: 3-Year-Old Boy Killed in Gang Attack in Pine Hills
The Orange County sheriff’s office says drive-by gang shootings have killed two innocent children this week.
According to officials, there have been two drive-by shootings in the past two days and four in the past week.
“We got to stop taking the lives of one another. We got to stop it we got to,” said the Rev. Stovelleo Stovall, with God is Able Outreach.
He says he's pained to hear the number of retaliatory gang shootings in Orange County continues to rise.
“There’s nothing so bad that we got to continue killing one another, and killing innocent bystanders,” Stovall said.
Drive-by shootings Monday and Tuesday left an innocent 14-year-old and 3-year-old dead.
Stovall and his wife say they know firsthand the pain these families are feeling.
They lost a daughter who died in a shooting seven months ago.
“Renisha was my daughter ... I can imagine what that family’s going through now,” Stovall said.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina says these retaliatory gang shootings are now his department's No. 1 priority.
“We’re gonna catch them, we’re gonna catch all of them and we’re gonna put them in prison,” Mina said.
Mina says the OCSO has formed a task force with the Orlando police department, and the state and US attorneys offices.
But he says they really need people in the community to help to catch these feuding gang members.
“You can call anonymously, you can call us and tell us hey there are gang members putting rifles into this car, into this blue car, we think they’re going to do something,” Mina said.
Stovall has a message for those who don’t want to turn in someone in a violent gang because they might be a family member or friend.
“If you see something, you got to say something … because I guarantee you would rather see them in juvenile (detention), than to be making funeral arrangements,” he said.
To make a report anonymously you can call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.
And Stovall says he’s helped people who are wanted turn themselves in safely before.
He says he’s willing to do that again with whoever’s involved in these shootings.
He can be reached at 407-844-9098 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.