SPRING HILL — Anthony and Brenda Machicote describe their 20-year-old son, Angel, as affable, smart and hard-working.
An honor student at Pasco-Hernando Community College who is looking forward to entering a four-year college to study graphic arts, he seems to have few cares.
All of which is why the Machicotes say they were shocked when they received a phone call Sunday night telling them that Angel had been flown to a Tampa Bay-area hospital with a gunshot wound to his abdomen.
Hernando County authorities on Monday did not disclose a motive for the shooting, which occurred about 7 p.m. Sunday at 1229 Academy Ave. in Spring Hill, but acknowledged that the incident did not appear to be random.
Two suspects were named Monday evening: Shaquille Lawson, 18, and Brandon Langley, 17. A warrant was issued for Lawson's arrest, a juvenile pickup order for Langley. Both will be charged with attempted felony murder and armed robbery with the use of a firearm, according to Hernando County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cpl. Wendy McGinnis said.
The Machicotes declined to give details about the shooting, but said Angel's injuries were not life-threatening. He was scheduled have to have surgery Monday afternoon. They said they did not know why their son was at the house on Academy.
"The whole thing is very surreal for us," Anthony Machicote said. "We can only hope that they catch the person who did this."
Although the Sheriff's Office provided few details about the shooting, this much is known:
The Sheriff's Office got a 911 call about 7 p.m. Sunday from a subject who said he had been shot. Believing that whoever shot Machicote might still be inside the house on Academy Avenue — south of Spring Hill Drive between U.S. 19 and Deltona Boulevard — the sheriff's SWAT unit surrounded the house. They members entered about 10 p.m., but found no one.
Darold Zimmerman, who lives near the house where the shooting took place, said crime in the neighborhood has been rising in recent years. According to the Sheriff's Office website, there have been 46 crimes — including a home invasion, an assault and burglaries — reported within a mile of Zimmerman's house since September.
"You see stuff like people pulling up to houses at 12 o'clock at night," Zimmerman said. "They're there to either purchase drugs or pawn something."
Property records indicate that the owners of the house where the shooting took place do not live there.
The Machicotes said that Angel, who lives with them in Spring Hill, works at a local computer store, owns his own car and always has plenty of spending money. They said the popular young man was never known to have any trouble with anyone.
"It's sad to say it, but there are kids out there that just don't want to see someone like him succeed," Brenda Machicote said. "It's like oil and vinegar. I wish he would have just stayed away from there."
Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.