[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 05/19/20]
TAVARES, Florida — Tavares Police Department has arrested a man in connection with the gun battle at a local convenience store May 7 and has issued a warrant for the arrest of another man.
Lake Legal News was at the scene of the shooting, first reported as a drive-by, that broke out on a Thursday morning before lunchtime at Quik Stop, 102 South Lake Avenue, a very busy area of Tavares, just a few blocks from the Lake County Jail.
Tyler Michael Mills, of Tavares, was arrested Thursday and is facing two charges, aggravated battery with a firearm and shooting into an unoccupied vehicle. According to a probable cause affidavit, video surveillance from the scene of the crime shows Mills backing into a parking spot and a woman walking up and exchanging words with Mills. LLN is not identifying the woman because she was not charged with a crime. An unidentified man in a white shirt arrives, speaks with Mills and walks to and from his vehicle several times. Thirteen minutes after Mills arrives, Malik Stubbs, of Orlando, arrives and exits the passenger side of a black SUV.
Stubbs walks up to Mills’ window and they appear to shake hands and Stubbs reaches into the window with his left hand and takes something from Mills. He inspects what Mills handed him and then appears to reach in the pocket of his hoodie. One second later Stubbs is seen in the video pointing a gun at Mills and begins to step away while still pointing the gun at Mills. Mills then shoots at Stubbs and he ducks, but was likely hit. Stubbs fires back and the shot hits the concrete. Mills possibly fires again, and Stubbs exits the view of the camera as his red slide-type shoe flies back into view, according to the affidavit. “It is believed Stubbs jumped over the small wall that is next to the store,” the affidavit states.
Mills is then seen reaching out of his window with a gun in his hand and he fires at least one shot towards the roadway, striking an unoccupied vehicle at a neighboring business. Just a few seconds later the black SUV is seen leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Only 22 seconds went by from the time Stubbs walked up to Mills’ window until the SUV Stubbs is in flees the scene. Mills left the scene in the opposite direction of the SUV, but later returned and spoke to police; he told them someone in the vehicle was shooting at him, but police did not find evidence of that.
Mills told police he was at Quik Stop to sell Stubbs marijuana; he said Stubbs walked up to his vehicle, held him at gunpoint and robbed him of marijuana and cash. Mills told police he was in fear for his life and he grabbed a gun from his center console and fired at Stubbs.
Stubbs was shot at least two times and went to AdventHealth Waterman for treatment. Stubbs told a different tale; he told police he found a gun on the ground and believed it belonged to Mills. He said he went to return the gun to Mills and Mills shot him.
Police believe it was a drug deal gone bad, Tavares Police Sgt. Sarah Coursey told LLN. Mills was arrested Thursday and released the same day from the Lake County Jail on $20,000 bond. There is a warrant for Stubbs’s arrest for armed robbery, Coursey said.
[ Read our original Lake Legal News article here: https://www.lakelegalnews.com/article/drive-by-shooting-in-tavares-thursday-just-two-days-after-city-closes-troubled-park/ ]
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]