Date: April 20, 2004 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, Pager

Information Sought in Shooting Investigation

Polk County Sheriff's detectives are seeking information about a shooting that occurred in the Eloise area of Winter Haven last night, April 19, 2004, around 10:00 p.m.

Deputies responded to a disturbance call at 125 2nd Street and found one victim of a shotgun blast, 23-year-old Carmello Fernandez.  At 7:00 a.m. the next morning, another victim, 52-year-old Pedro Venavides of Orlando, came forward for help at the 7-11 store on the corner of Snively Ave and US Hwy 17 in Eloise. Venavides suffered a gunshot wound to the back and a stab wound to the abdomen. Both men are in critical but stable condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Deputies are looking for 2 unaccounted for witnesses who were seen leaving the scene in a dull black older model Chevrolet Beretta. A Hispanic male named Alfredo, who goes by "Pollo", lives at the 2nd street address, and another Hispanic male, Amadello Estrada, AKA "Padrino", are wanted for questioning in this incident.

If anyone has information about to this case or knows the whereabouts of the 2 aforementioned witnesses, they are urged to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 863-533-0344, or 1-800-226-0344.

Anyone with information who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a CASH REWARD is asked to call Polk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS.
Anonymity is Guaranteed!

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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