Authorities in Florida have arrested a 19-year-old male in connection with the shooting of a 15-year-old boy. According to WESH, police said a 35-year-old woman, Chanel Williams, was having “romantic relationships” with the victim as well as the alleged shooter.
Police also said the 15-year-old was in possession of a gun Williams had given to him to protect himself from the alleged shooter. The 19-year-old suspect was identified as Diante Stokes. Williams, who was also arrested, faces a slew of charges including child neglect and abuse as well as failure to secure a weapon. The 15-year-old and Williams were said to be staying together.
Investigators also said Stokes shot the juvenile multiple times on Saturday. “The female that we arrested had a romantic relationship with both the suspect and the 15-year-old,” Deputy Chief of the Rockledge Police Department, Donna Seyferth, said.
Williams’ bond was set at $45,000 when she appeared before a judge Monday. The judge also barred her from having any contact with minors under 18. Police said Williams could face additional charges, adding that there were at least three more children in the accused woman’s home.
But in a statement, Williams’ attorney, Jason Downs, said their preliminary investigation “shows that the police reporting may be a little bit inaccurate.” “Maybe the facts do not support the charges. So we are looking forward to dealing with this case in court,” Downs added.
Williams informed police that she was the 15-year-old boy’s legal guardian, WESH reported. Investigators have also contacted the mother of the victim.
“It is a very confusing case. We’ve got a guardian that’s not a guardian. We’ve got a 35-year-old female that has been with both our suspect and our victim, one of them being a juvenile. It has taken a lot of investigative work to get where we are,” Seyferth said.
Stokes has since been charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm, and violation of probation, per Florida Today. The victim is said to be in critical condition.