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Florida sheriff: Multiple suspects in killings of 3 teens

  • Three Florida teenagers died from gunshot wounds last week
  • The bodies were found in three different locations
  • Police have identified "multiple" suspects

(NewsNation) — Police have identified multiple suspects in separate shootings of three Florida teens whose killings appear to be connected, according to the sheriff overseeing the investigation.

Layla Danielle Silvernail was the first victim, found lying in a road next to a dumpster Thursday night in the town of Ocklawaha, WCJB-TV reported. She later died in a hospital.

The other two victims, a 17-year-old male and 16-year-old girl, were found dead Friday morning and Saturday afternoon, WESH-TV reported. Their names are being withheld pursuant to Florida law.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told NewsNation’s “Banfield” on Tuesday that evidence collected so far points to multiple shooters, whose whereabouts are known.

“We know where every one of our suspects are,” Woods told “On Balance” host Leland Vittert on Wednesday.

Police have described the killings as potentially the result of “hybrid gang” activity.

“Most people refer to them as neighborhood gangs,” Woods said. “These particular gangs don’t have that formal structure. They don’t have the bosses and a lot of times there’s rivalry between these neighborhood gangs.”

All of the victims knew each other and were together leading up to the shootings, Woods said, even though they were found in different locations.

The body of the unidentified 16-year-old was found in Silvernail’s car, which was partially submerged in a body of water. Woods did not specify in which area of the car the girl’s body was found.

The sheriff confirmed police have collected video evidence, but did not provide specifics, citing the ongoing investigation.

“Not at this time, I can’t. I wish I could,” he said of divulging more details.

Speaking to local media earlier Tuesday, Woods vowed to arrest the suspects involved.

“Not only our victims, but those families have a right to justice and that’s what we’re going to accomplish,” Woods said at a news conference. “We’re gonna get ’em.”

No arrests have been made in the case yet.


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