3 teens hurt in drive-by shooting near Waterford Town Center, deputies say

The Orange County Sheriff's Office released new details Monday about a shooting that injured three teenagers near the Waterford Town Center on Saturday.

According to deputies, the teenagers were hanging out behind buildings at the shopping plaza near the movie theater, when they were shot at from a vehicle. 

The victims – a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man – are expected to be OK, authorities said. 


"I was just like, ‘Wow, is this really happening here in Waterford Lakes?’ It’s scary. I get chills just thinking about it now," Whitney Barnes said. She was outside at a nearby restaurant when the shooting happened. She said managers told her and her husband to move inside because there was a shooting nearby. 

She said the restaurant was full of people and managers locked the doors. "I remember my husband saying to me, ‘Whitney. I need you to listen to me. He’s like, if the shooter comes this way, I need you to go to the kitchen, not toward the door.’ I just kind of blanked out for a second. And he’s like, ‘Whitney are you listening to me?' and I’m like, 'Yes!’"

Pauline Abadoya was also nearby. She works at Cruncheese Korean Hot Dog and was working Saturday evening when the shooting happened. "I saw a bunch of cop cars in front of the movie theater," she said. "I was right by it. That could have been me in the shooting happening. They could have drove by here and shot some of the stores up here," she said.

Investigators do not believe the shooting was a random act. Prior to the shooting, officials said there was an argument with people outside their group.

One of the victims is refusing to cooperate with law enforcement's investigation, and the other two victims have provided very limited information about what led to the shooting. The violence is now bringing up safety concerns for people in the area. "It’s sad now that you can’t think your kids can go somewhere and enjoy themselves without thinking that something like that is going to go on," Barnes added.

At this time, deputies have not identified any suspects and do not have a description of the vehicle. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.