|Published:||Jun 21, 2012 8:27 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 21, 2012 8:27 AM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - There have been 12 homicides in Fort Myers this year, and many are still unsolved.
Since the latest shootings, WINK News has heard from families and friends of the victims, who say some of the killings appear to be connected and a form of retaliation.
Tuesday night, Fort Myers Police busted a speeding car full of teens, believed to be en route to a revenge shooting. A fully-loaded, high-powered gun was discovered in the car. Some of the vehicle's occupants admitted to being related to recent homicide victims.
"They were very inquisitive about what we knew about the recent homicides, what kind of evidence we had, if we had names of suspects. That right there tells me that this is retaliatory," said Sgt. Victor Medico, a Fort Myers Police Officer.
Police are not releasing which victims the teens said they were related to.
However, one of the teens, who police reports list as 16-years old, reportedly lost a cousin to a shooting in Fort Myers two weeks ago, according to a family friend. She says he also knew Deontae Stittiams, the 15-year-old killed April 11 at a cemetery near C Street.
"The whole family has been touched by the shootings," the friend said, asking WINK News to withhold her identity. "They've known a lot of the people who've perished... and been shot to death."
According to WINK News archives, 27-year-old Brandon Seabrook was the victim in the shooting two weeks ago. June 8, he was gunned down near Davis Street and Thomas Street and later died from his injuries.
Seabrook and Jerrett Byrd, who was shot to death with his girlfriend Cha'riah Owens at Gulf Stream Isles Tuesday morning, have apparent family ties as well.
At an evening vigil following Byrd's death, loved ones and others from the community gathered at Cornerstone Ministries in a showing of unity.
Weston Brooks, who said he was Seabrook's and Byrd's cousin, attended the event, and called for the violence to stop.
"I don't care if it's Michigan against Harlem Lakes, all of us need to stop killing one another," Brooks said Tuesday.
Police are not commenting directly on whether there are potential links between the crimes as the investigations are ongoing.
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