[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 08/12/20]
TAVARES, Florida — An Orlando man is accused of shooting at four people earlier this month and striking one of them, following an altercation at a local bar earlier this month. He is now facing nearly a dozen charges in two separate cases — both involving guns.
On Aug. 2, a man reported to Tavares Police that he and his friends had been in an altercation with a man later identified as Elijah Byrd, 38 a bar in downtown Tavares. The man said Byrd followed him and his three friends while threatening and harassing them. They began to run towards his mother’s house on North Saint Clair Abrams Avenue and Byrd allegedly fired approximately six shots, according to an arrest affidavit. When the four friends got to the residence, they realized one of them had been shot.
Emergency personnel responded to the scene and a man was taken to AdventHealth Waterman to be treated for a gunshot wound to the leg. All four victims told police they were in fear and thought they were going to die; TPD was unable to locate the suspect the night of the shooting, according to the affidavit. Around 10 p.m. Friday, TPD spoke with Byrd about the shooting on Aug. 2 and he advised he visits his cousin’s home occasionally and frequents a local bar in downtown Tavares.
About two hours later, just after midnight Saturday, Byrd is accused of stealing a gun from his cousin and running from police. According to that arrest affidavit, Byrd’s cousin told police he stole a loaded .357 firearm from his residence on Rockingham Avenue. TPD began searching for Byrd and spotted him walking through a parking lot on West Ruby Street. As police approached Byrd, he began to run and police lost sight of him, according to the affidavit. Additional units arrived to assist and an LCSO K-9 deputy was able to track Byrd to a fenced-in property on West Main Street. Police took Byrd into custody and a did not find any weapons on him, but after searching the surrounding area, they found two boxes of ammunition and a loaded EEA .357 revolver. The ammunition in the revolver, matched one of the boxes police found, the arresting officer noted in the affidavit.
Byrd was taken into custody and later that day, he was identified in a photo line-up as the man who shot at the four victims Aug. 2.
In the shooting case, Byrd is charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a weapon and one count of aggravated battery with a weapon. In the stolen gun case, he is charged with grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, loitering and prowling, resisting arrest without violence and petit theft. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $39,500 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]