PINE HILLS, Fla. — Law enforcers have ramped up rewards to find the killers of 3-year-old Daquane Felix Jr. and 14-year-old Denis Joshua Atkinson — victims of separate west Orange County gang attacks.
What You Need To Know
- Rewards upped from $5,000 to $20,000 in each case
- Boys, ages 3 and 14, killed in separate gang shootings
- Fatal gangs attacks happened on September 21 and 22
The reward in each case jumped from $5,000 to $20,000, Central Florida Crimeline Executive Director Barb Bergin announced online this weekend.
“It is now time that we step up and do something about our children being hurt,” Bergin said. “It is time that we put an end to the violence that we’re seeing. We need the community’s help.”
The boys were killed in retaliation attacks in a war between the 438 and Army gangs, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said last week.
Denis and a 15-year-old boy were found with gunshot wounds in the 1600 block of Glendale Road at 11:07 p.m. September 21. Denis died.
(The Orange County Sheriff's Office originally identified Denis Joshua Atkinson as Joshua Atkinson). The other boy was critically wounded.
The next day, Daquane was shot at 10:21 p.m. while playing inside his home on Drexel Avenue, roughly three miles away from the Glendale Road attack.
Mina revealed the gang war during a news conference last week. He said there’s been four drive-by shootings since a July 7 gun battle on Powers Ridge Court.
An Army gang member attempted to gun down 438 member Vanshawn Sands during a drive-by.
Sands, 20, returned fire with an "AR-style pistol," killing the rival, according to officials and court records.
Sands is being held at the Orange County Jail on charges of possession of a firearm by convicted felon and other charges.
Mina said deputies have made 20 arrests and seized two dozen firearms since the gang violence flared up.
He said many of the firearms were stolen. Gangs are armed with high-powered weapons that can shoot through buildings and penetrate officers’ body armor, he added.
He urged residents and family members of gangsters to report them to authorities.
Bergin, the Crimeline official, echoed that message, reminding the public that Crimeline tips are always confidential.
"We need the community to make that call. Any little piece of information could help solve either one or both of these cases,” she said. "Please, if you or someone you know knows anything, we want you to call Central Florida Crimeline. This is about all of us now.”
She said the rewards were boosted through the support of the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“We need to be a community that comes together to solve cases,” Bergin added.
Anyone with information can call Crimeline 1-800-423-8477 (TIPS).