Suspect faces 2nd-degree murder charge for June Lehigh Acres homicide

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Yusafali Gooding, 27, of Lehigh Acres. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

One man was arrested in connection to a road rage shooting death in Lehigh Acres.

According to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, Yusafali Gooding, 27, of Lehigh Acres faces a charge of second-degree murder.

On the evening of June 28, Yairo Oropeza, 23, was shot and killed along Sunrise Boulevard in what Marceno described as a road rage incident. Another man was also injured in the shooting and lived.

“You cannot hide,” said Marceno during a press conference. “No matter when in the county or the state you flee to, we will hunt you down and put you in jail.”

Yusafali Gooding, 27, of Lehigh Acres. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

LCSO worked with the shooting survivor to help identify the suspect as Gooding and determine he was driving a black Nissan Versa.

Gooding was arrested in Jacksonville on unrelated charges and extradited back to Lee County to face the murder charges. Investigators say Gooding tried to ditch the gun connected to the deadly shooting in Lehigh while he was in Jacksonville.

Yairo Oropeza, 23. Credit: Shared with WINK News.

Yairo’s family waited weeks for detectives to track down the suspect accused of his murder.

“It was just really overwhelming for me to really process anything,” sister Yanis Oropeza said. “Seeing him was hard.”

Yairo and her family and friends sat in a small courtroom Monday, holding one another and watching the suspect Lee County Sheriff’s Office says shot and killed her brother.

“We didn’t want it to be another case that people just forget about, another news story,” Yanis said. “We wanted to make sure that Yayo was always remembered because everyone obviously loved him.”

While the arrest doesn’t bring back Yanis’ brother, she told us it’s a good first step toward justice.

“We’re just going to get justice for Yayo,” Yanis said. “That’s it.”

Marceno said the investigation is still open.

Gooding remains in custody at Lee County Jail without set bond.

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