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Apopka student shot, killed


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Apopka student shot, killed

 

The father of another teen was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder.

 

By Amy C. Rippel | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted February 18, 2004

 

A 16-year-old Apopka High School student died Tuesday after he was shot in the back by another boy's father after a dispute between the teens, authorities said.

 

Lonnie Hillery was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in stable condition after the 2:30 p.m. shooting, but his condition quickly deteriorated. He died about 8 p.m., a sheriff's spokesman said. Later Tuesday night, investigators arrested Clyde Blount, 41, on a charge of first-degree murder.

 

Lonnie and Clyde Blount Jr., 16, had a days-old dispute that erupted into a fistfight after getting off a bus coming from Apopka High School on Tuesday afternoon. After the fight, Clyde, called "CJ" by friends, went home to the apartment he shares with his family at the Hawthorne Village complex to tell his father.

 

Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons said the elder Blount, armed with a gun, and his son went in the family minivan looking for Lonnie. When they found him a few blocks away from the apartments, the elder Blount fired at least three shots at Lonnie and hit him in the back, Solomons said.

 

People in the Hawthorne Village public-housing project in South Apopka said Lonnie was funny.

 

"He [was] a good kid. He's the kind of person to keep you laughing," said school chum Darrell Baldwin, 17. "I saw the entire fight. It was bad."

 

Lonnie's aunt Vince Gray said he was a good boy.

 

"He was very energetic. He loved sports very much," she said.

 

Clyde Blount's wife, Barbara Payne, who is Clyde Jr.'s mother, said her son had been harassed by Lonnie for days. She said it started Sunday when Lonnie was picking on Clyde's 12-year-old cousin. Clyde, trying to defend his cousin, told Lonnie to stop bothering her, Payne said. Payne said Lonnie then focused aggression at Clyde. She said her husband talked to Apopka High School authorities earlier this week to alert them to the issue.

 

Payne said her son arrived home Tuesday afternoon crying and bruised after the fight at the bus stop. Payne said she called law enforcement about the fight. She said she doesn't know anything about the shooting.

 

"My husband doesn't have a gun. He didn't shoot nobody," she said.

 

Solomons said Blount, armed with a gun, loaded his son in the family's white Ford Aerostar van and went looking for Lonnie. The elder Blount found Lonnie with a group of friends at 20th Street and Lake Avenue, about five blocks from the fight scene.

 

The father made a quick U-turn on the road and fired "several shots -- at least three shots -- at the other boy," Solomons said.

 

Lonnie was struck in the back. A passer-by took the boy to a nearby Apopka fire station, and he was then taken to the hospital.

 

Gray said the family wants to find the good Samaritan who helped Lonnie.

 

"We would like to thank this person," she said. "We'd really like to show our appreciation."

 

Hawthorne Village residents said they were shocked by the events. Blount was known as "Mr. Candyman" in the neighborhood because he and his wife sold candy from their apartment.

 

Payne said Clyde is the oldest of six children, on the honor roll at Apopka High, and he just recently started working at a local grocery store.

 

"He's a good kid," she said. "He's never caused any trouble."

 

Gray said Lonnie had two older siblings and three younger siblings. His mother, though, considered Lonnie "her baby," she said.

 

"She's destroyed," Gray said of Lonnie's mother. "That was her baby."

 

Amy C. Rippel can be reached at arippel@orlandosentinel.com

or 407-420-5736.

 

 

Copyright ? 2004, Orlando Sentinel | Get home delivery - up to 50% off

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