Woman sleeping in nearby apartment shot during home invasion shootout

An innocent bystander was shot during an early Friday morning home invasion at an apartment complex in Orange County.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said they responded to a shooting call in the 44-hundred block of Silver Star Road just after 2:00 a.m. When they arrived on scene, they found a woman with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and she was rushed to the hospital.

Deputies said three men went to the complex and committed a home invasion at one of the apartments.

At some point gunfire was exchanged and several nearby apartments were struck. A woman, identified as Samantha Gardener, was asleep in a nearby apartment and was struck by a stray bullet.

Gardener returned to her home Friday evening in tears. She tells The News Station she was shot in the back of the neck by a stray bullet during the shooting.

"It was God, it was God," she said. "I could've died. So many things could've happened."

Gardener says she was sleeping on the couch while her two-year-old was sleeping in a playpen during the incident. Her injuries are not life threatening and her baby was unharmed.

One of the suspects, a man in his late 30s, was found inside the complex with a gunshot wound. He was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He has not been identified yet. Deputies are still looking for two other male suspects.

Detectives are investigating the death and home invasion. If you have any information that can help them with the case call Crime Line at 800-423-TIPS.


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