A 15-year-old boy was charged with murder in the stray-bullet killing of a Florida grandmother who served in Operation Desert Storm, police said.
The teenager, whose name was not released because he is a minor, was arrested Friday, four months after the tragic shooting death of former US Army Sgt. Angela Sutton Washington, the Orlando Police Department said in a statement.
The 61-year-old veteran was hit by a stray bullet on February 7 while shopping at the North Lane Plaza strip mall in Orlando, cops said.
“Through the relentless efforts of our homicide detectives along with cooperation from the community and Central Florida Crimeline, a suspect has been captured,” police said of the four-month investigation.
Video showed a group of teens and young men arguing at the mall, with one of them pulling out a gun and firing the shot that hit Washington, cops said.
A dark Mazda 3 in the mall’s parking lot was also spotted fleeing shortly after.
A $10,000 reward had been offered for tips leading to the suspect’s arrest.
Police previously said Sutton “was simply stopping at the convenience store on the way home to pick something up and was shot and killed.”
Her family told Orlando TV station Fox 35 that the beloved grandmother would go to the strip mall nearly every day. Her son, Fernando Washington, said he hoped the tragedy would be a “catalyst for change” to curb violence in his community.
“We cannot continue to think that senseless deaths make sense, because they don’t,” he told the local outlet in March.
Bishop Kelvin Cobaris, a community advocate, said it was heartbreaking to learn that a teen was the prime suspect in the fatal shooting of a woman “who sacrificed and gave her life for our freedom” and had been “taken down by senseless violence in the street for not doing anything wrong.”