Teen dies and two friends wounded after they are ‘lined up and shot in the head execution style during home invasion ONE DAY before they were to testify against suspects in May break-in’
- Men broke into Florida home on September 10 – a day before the friends were to appear in court to testify in case for earlier home invasion
- Men ‘dragged friends from their beds and lined them up in living room’
- Alex Zaldivar, 19, grabbed hands of friends and told them he loved them – ‘but attackers kicked their hands apart’
- Fatally shot but Remington Campos, 23, and Brienna Campos, 20, survived
- One suspect from May invasion was out on bond and electronic tag shows he was not at his home during second attack; no arrests have been made
PUBLISHED: 13:34 GMT, 18 September 2012 | UPDATED: 14:06 GMT, 18 September 2012
A teenager has been killed and two of his friends seriously wounded after two men broke into their home, lined them up and shot them in their heads execution style, their family said.
The death of Alex Zaldivar, 19, and injuries to Remington Campos, 23, and his sister Brienna Campos, 20, came just one day before they were to testify against two men in an earlier invasion.
The families of the victims believe one of the two suspects accused of the first break-in, Bessman Charles Obinna Okafor, returned to the home to kill the witnesses while he was out on bond.
‘Miraculous’: Siblings Remington Campos, left, and Brienna Campos, right, were also shot in the head during the home invasion but survived. They stumbled to a neighbour’s home for help
‘They were trying to execute them all because they were going to testify the very next day,’ Zaldivar’s father, Rafael, told the Orlando Sentinel. ‘They came here and executed him like a dog.
The friends’ home in Ocoee, Florida was targeted for the second time on September 10 at 5.15 a.m.
Police believe two or three suspects kicked down the locked front door and started pulling the friends from their beds and lining them up in the living room.
Brienna, whose room was nearest the front door, was scrambling to put on clothes when the intruders dragged her out and put her face-down on the floor.
Her brother Remington was pulled from his bed, pistol-whipped and pushed next to his sister, he told his parents. Alex was then forced alongside them.
Fearing his life was about to end, Alex grabbed the hands of his two friends and told them he loved them – before the suspects kicked apart their hands and started shooting, the parents said.
Brienna was shot first but remained conscious, sparking one of the men to ask: ‘Did you miss?’
She played dead and listened as her brother and friend were shot, her father said.
They fired at Alex multiple times, including at least once in the back of the head. Remington was shot once in the head, but also miraculously survived.
The men left and after Brienna failed to find a phone, she stumbled with her brother through the back door and over a fence to a neighbour’s house, leaving a trail of blood behind them.
The Campos siblings survived and are now in hiding. They are certain their attackers were the also behind the May invasion, but police have not yet made any arrests in the latest case.
Did they do it? Bessman Okafor, left, was out on bond following the May break-in and his electronic tag shows he was not at home during the second break in. Nolan Bernard, right, was also charged in May
The two men, Okafor and Nolan Darnell Bernard, were scheduled to stand trial on September 11, the day after the shooting, and Alex and Brienna were listed as possible witnesses.
‘They were trying to execute them because they were going to testify the very next day. They came here and executed him like a dog’
One suspect, 27-year-old Okafor was out on bond with a tag. He left his home at 4.40 a.m. the morning of the shootings and returned at 5:46 a.m., court records reveal.
He was arrested for violating the terms of his release but has not been charged in the shootings.
The parents of the victims returned to the home on Monday to sweep up their children’s dry blood and tell their version of events.
‘It’s a miracle my children survived, ‘ Alfonso Campos, who owns the home, said.
Alex, who was studying business at a nearby community college, was buried in Gotha on Saturday. He leaves behind his parents and big brother, Raf.
Loss: The families said they would fight for justice for Alex, left, who was buried last week, right
Alfonso Compos said his children will now fight to put their friend’s killers behind bars.
‘They will not be afraid to keep on going and bring justice,’ he said.
‘We don’t want his death to be in vain,’ Rafael Zaldivar added. ‘They executed him like a dog. They were cowards, complete cowards.’
Friends and family are now rallying for Alex’s voice to be heard, setting up community groups calling for justice and signing petitions to make breaking out on bond harder for suspects.
On a Facebook group, they write that Okafor has a history of violence and crime – 17 criminal charges since he was 16.
‘How could [the judge] let such a violent criminal with a record like this go with a soft slap on the wrist?’ they write. ‘None of this would have happened if Okafor were still in prison where he clearly belongs.’