LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters Friday, his office is close to identifying suspects in Wednesday’s triple murder, but investigators need the public’s help identifying a white van seen leaving the area of the shooting.
Here’s what Sheriff Judd said the investigation revealed so far:
- The suspects were described as three black men with “island” accents.
- One of the victims, David Washington, traveled to Miami often to “party” and deal drugs.
- A white, Ford Transit Connect vehicle was caught on surveillance camera driving to and from the area where the shooting happened.
- There was a fight in the home before the shooting happened.
- Investigators believe the suspects intended to execute all four in the home.
- The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is taking steps to ensure the safety of the lone survivor.
“Their intent was to execute everyone in this residence,” Sheriff Judd told reporters Friday.
From his experience, Sheriff Judd said he believes the shooting was about money related to drugs.
“We’ve got to solve this. Those two young ladies and that young man didn’t deserve to die. Whether or not they were engaged in illegal conduct, they should not have perished... And we’re gonna do everything in our power to find these predators,“ Judd said.
Sheriff Judd appealed to the media to share information about the van and possible suspects with the Miami community in hopes of identifying the van, which was seen from a camera at a business front on U.S. 92 near Magnolia Street, where the shooting took place.
Sheriff Judd insisted the incident was related to a drug deal gone wrong.
“They were hired to take care of what they perceived as a problem here,” Judd said.