DeSoto shooting: Arrest report shows shooters followed victims for more than 2 miles

Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
desoto hospital scene
Credit: Donna Creel

An arrest report details how a 17-year-old shooter and two others followed three teens in a vehicle for more than two miles while shooting into their van in Arcadia.

The shooting occurred on Saturday at around 4 p.m. and left at least three teens injured.

An arrest report for 18-year-old Alexa Avilez said she was the driver in the shooting and her boyfriend, Victor Cervantes, 17, was shooting out of the window. Deputies arrested a 14-year-old boy on Thursday and accused him of being a second shooter. An arrest report was not available for the younger of the alleged shooters.

A witness told deputies with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office that Cervantes admitted he was involved in the shooting, saying “they got what they deserved,” the arrest report states.

One of the victims, Jose, was airlifted to a hospital in St. Petersburg. His brother, Alejandro, also a victim, was taken to a local hospital.

The third victim, Fabio, was shot in the arm and back and taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, according to the arrest report.

Deputies say the shooting was retaliatory after the alleged shooters had their home shot at. The mother of the alleged shooters said she did not report the shooting of her home to law enforcement, according to the arrest report.

Deputies initially thought there were only three people in the victim’s car but found a fourth person, who said they didn’t want to be involved in testifying because of possible retaliation.

Cervantes was initially arrested for three counts of attempted murder but could now face a fourth.

Alexa Avilez, 18. Credit: DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.

Avilez was arrested on four counts of attempted murder. She was taken to DeSoto County Jail where bond was set to $800,000, or $200,000 on each count.

Her arrest report states she “operated the Nissan Rogue as the driver, made the conscious decision to turn and pursue the victim vehicle at a high rate of speed, knowing (Cervantes) was shooting a firearm at the victim vehicle.”

It continues that she made a conscious decision to follow the vehicle for at least two miles and then pulled alongside the victim vehicle for Cervantes to shoot.

Cervantes was taken into custody and then transferred to a juvenile facility in Manatee County, where he is currently being held without bond.


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