Monday, April 23, 2018
Public safety

Wife, teen son of suspected shooter arrested in Plant City murder attempt

PLANT CITY — The wife and son of a man believed to have shot four people in Plant City on Sunday night were arrested Thursday in connection with that crime, police said.

The suspected shooter, Luis Acosta Sr., 30, remains at large.

Giovanna Blanco, 36, and Luis Acosta Jr., 14, are believed to have played key roles in the attack, which police believe was spurred by a dispute between the Acosta family and the intended victim, Hugo Alvarez, 17.

Alvarez was shot that night.

He and two other shooting victims, Sheraye Hicks, 20, and Dilworth Gilley, 18, remain in critical condition. Derrick Reese, who also was shot, has been released from the hospital.

According to Plant City police, Alvarez had returned to Woodbridge Apartments the night of the shooting to collect his belongings from an apartment in which he had been living.

Blanco approached the group about 6 p.m. and an argument broke out, police said.

She left, police said, only to return minutes later with a baseball bat and began to threaten the five people.

The group loaded into a car and tried to drive away when they were approached by the senior Acosta, who was carrying a handgun, officials said.

He fired multiple shots into the car, hitting four of the five occupants, police said.

The one victim who was not shot during the assault ran from the car. She was chased down by Blanco, who was carrying the baseball bat, police said.

After the shooting, the younger Acosta walked up to the car, carrying a baseball bat and beat Alvarez several times, police said.

Neither the circumstances of this family feud nor the subject of the argument were clear.

Blanco was charged Thursday with aggravated assault. The junior Acosta faces charges of attempted murder.

Acosta Sr. is wanted on four counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Detectives believe he has fled the area. The U.S. Marshals Service is assisting in the nationwide investigation.

Anyone with information about the shooting or Acosta's whereabouts is asked to contact Plant City police Sgt. James Shutlz at (813) 757-9200.

Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

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