WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) - Police call him a "dangerous criminal" who has nine felony arrests under his belt. He was wanted for allegedly firing into an occupied home, but hours before the FOX 13 News story aired about his shooting rampage, the 14-year-old was arrested.
It happened Monday night, police said, when they were called to a home on Avenue C in response to shots fired into a home. A child had reported the sound of gunfire outside and detectives say they found a .380-caliber shell casing along with the a flattened bullet that had gone through the front wall of the home and into a utility room.
Witnesses identified 14-year-old Rosel La Michael Stephene as the gunman, and police have issued a warrant for his arrest.
Termirror Riley lives at the home police believe Stephene targeted. She said her 16-year-old son and Stephene recently got into a fight. Riley said her son was with her 9-year old-and 6-year-old inside the home when the gunshots pierced the apartment unit.
"I want [Stephene] caught. Locked up. He needs years. He need to be punished because it's my kids in danger. My little ones, they're scared," said Riley, before Stephene was arrested later that evening.
Riley said the fear that Stephene would come back sent her and her family into hiding before his arrest.
"It was scary. I just want it to be resolved and I want him off he streets. I really want him to be caught so that we can come home and be safe," Riley said.
Stephene is no stranger to police. They said he has a history of felonies that started with grand theft auto when he was 11-years-old. He was also arrested for burglary, robbery, credit card fraud and more.
"His prior arrests show an obvious disregard for the safety of any life and it is imperative that we take him off the street," said Chief Charlie Bird.
Stephene was arrested around 8 p.m. Thursday evening after police got a tip he was at a Sailwinds Apartment unit in Winter Haven. Officers arrested him shortly after and taken to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center.