Ocoee police seek public’s help in deadly shooting of US Army veteran from Apopka

Stephen Hudak/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

With the victim’s family beside them, Ocoee police appealed for the public’s help Saturday to solve the killing of a 60-year-old Army veteran shot Thursday in his vehicle at a gas station at one of the city’s busier intersections.

Gregory Reed of Apopka, a father of four and a grandfather of two, was shot “multiple times” about 8:20 p.m. while in his vehicle outside the Circle K convenience store/gas station at Clarke and Silver Star roads, Ocoee police Lt. Mireya Iannuzzi said.

“We do have some witnesses who have come forward that either saw something or heard something that pointed us in the direction of this vehicle,” Iannuzzi said, showing a grainy image of a white or silver Mercedes Benz SUV.

She said detectives believe at least two people were in the Mercedes.

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Reed’s daughter, Deidre Anderson, 38, described her dad as loving and a “big family man.” She pleaded for people with more information about the crime to call police.

For most of the press briefing, Reed’s mother, Alvetcher Jones, who celebrated her 80th birthday last Sunday with her son and other family, watched quietly in a chair against the wall of a Police Department conference room.

“Whoever did this needs to be found,” she said at the briefing’s conclusion.

Ocoee police urged anyone with information to call the investigative unit at 407-905-3160 or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).

Ocoee police detective Jaswantie Devine said Reed was driving his vehicle, an older model Ford Explorer, past the gas pumps when he apparently was shot. His SUV crashed to a stop in the adjoining parking lot of a Publix grocery.

Investigators were sorting through video from store security cameras and other surveillance cameras but were uncertain what prompted the shooting. “It could have been maybe something as simple as somebody cut somebody off,” Iannuzzi said.

She said there was a brief exchange between Reed and occupants of the Mercedes before the shooting.

Iannuzzi said detectives don’t believe Reed knew his assailant.

“We desperately want to bring justice to this family,” she said. “This is just a violent encounter and we seemingly have no explanation, no reason why.”

Tyrone Scott, 59, a cousin, described Reed as a fishing buddy, Apopka youth football coach and an “awesome man.”

“You’ll never find a better guy than Greg Reed,” Scott said. “For someone to hurt this man like they did, it’s wrong. He didn’t deserve that. And I am mad that he had to be taken like that [because of] someone being selfish.”

“I know he’s in heaven right now, that’s my belief.”