A 3-year-old boy was fatally shot at a Florida home in a drive-by attack that investigators believe was an act of gang retaliation, just one day after two teenagers were shot, including a 14-year-old who was killed, officials recently announced.
The boy, identified as Daquane James Felix Jr., was killed when he was shot while inside his Drexel Avenue home, in Pine Hills near Orlando, shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday – just days after celebrating his third birthday, police said Wednesday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Felix Jr., who turned 3 on Sept. 13, was killed in one of four drive-by shootings reported over the past week, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said during a Wednesday press release.
Just miles away on Glendale Avenue, two teenagers were also shot – including the 14-year-old who was killed – in a different drive-by attack on the previous day, Mina said. Police said the surviving victim was 15.
“Each one, we believe, or detectives believe, is an act of gang retaliation,” he said. “There are some very violent gangs here at work in Orange County. They are heavily armed and not afraid to use violence. They don’t think twice about who they kill.”
Mina said the department had recently seen “an increase in violence and retaliation” and OCSD’s focus on gang violence was a top priority.
On Tuesday, witnesses told local affiliate FOX 35 Orlando that they heard gunshots and saw cars rushing from Drexel Avenue.
Felix Jr.’s grandmother, Veronica Felix, described the horrifying sight just moments after the gunmen opened fire.
“I just see him in my head laying on the ground right there and I wasn’t able to save him,” Felix told FOX 35. “It hurts bad. It hurts so bad.”
She told the news station she hopes the gunmen “just turn themselves in.”