The Lake County Sheriff’s Office detained five “persons of interest” late Friday afternoon in what may be a drug-related shoot-out between vehicles, and deputies are looking for a possible injured person after blood was found in one of the vehicles.
Sgt. James Vachon, sheriff’s spokesman, said detectives determined that two vehicles were involved in an altercation near the Sunoco gas station at 940 U.S. Highway 27 in Clermont sometime around 1:30 p.m. Friday.
“The individuals in both cars were familiar with one another and at some point gunfire was exchanged; this was not a random act and may be drug related,” Vachon said.
Vachon said there is evidence to suggest that someone was injured in one of the vehicles, however, no one has come forward with any such wounds. He added no bystanders were hit.
The shooting left the store parking lot surrounded with yellow caution tape, orange cones and evidence tags scattered throughout the scene, including where bullets had riddled a black Honda.
Also surrounded by tape was a silver Chevy Impala.
Detective Clay Watkins said the occupants of the Chevy and a Toyota pick-up truck were involved and the truck was able to drive off, but the Chevy became stuck after getting a flat tire during the shooting.
One occupant of the truck and four occupants of the Chevy were detained and deputies found the truck in the nearby Cagan Crossings apartment complex. But at 7 p.m. deputies were still looking for the gunmen.
Other than saying it was maybe drug-related, detectives were not clear on what exactly led to the confrontation. But a man at the scene — who didn’t want to give his name — said he was an occupant of the Chevy and “they just started shooting.”