Death investigation following shooting in Apopka

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a deadly shooting that left one man dead and another on the loose Thursday afternoon.

Deputies on Thursday responded to the East 13th Street, where they discovered a man with a gunshot wound. The man, identified Charlie Stephens, 45, was pronounced deceased by Orange County Fire Rescue Department at the scene. 

“Everybody know everybody in Apopka. Everybody know everybody. That’s how my son got killed. He know the guy that killed him. Everybody knows everybody,” said Anita Thomas, who is a friend of Stephens.

Deputies spent hours searching for evidence, determining whoever did this knew Stephens. Deputies say this was not random.

Dozens showed up as news spread that Stephens was killed. They were angry but not shocked about ongoing gun violence in South Apoka.

“Young black men are started being murdered and murdered. Sooner or later, there's not going to be any young black men in south Apopka," said Barbara Miles, who lost her son to gun violence six years ago. "I have a 18-year-old grandson. I wonder if he's going to make it to be 34 or 35.” 

Miles said Stephens was well known in the community.

“He was a wonderful person. He was not an angel, of course he was not, but he was a good guy. He looked out for people. People cared about him. He cared about people. Unfortunately, he got caught up in a bad, bad situation.”

The shooter is still on the loose, but deputies said this was isolated and the public is not in any danger.  Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).