Former Marine arrested in Orlando for the murder of another veteran
A 25-year-old former Marine Corps member was arrested Wednesday in the fatal shooting of another military veteran who was killed early Sunday in downtown Orlando when he was going to get empanadas, according to the Orlando Police Department.
According to Detectives, Shaun Engram Jr. attempted to prevent 34-year-old Joseph Torres from walking down a crowded downtown sidewalk around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, resulting in heated exchanges between the men who met did not know and had never met OPD detective Teresa Sprague. The crowd around Engram “turned on” Torres and started beating him up, Sprague said, until Engram took out a gun and shot Torres four times, killing him.
“We’d like to believe there’s more to this than just walking through the crowd,” said Sprague. “… That’s honestly all Mr. Torres has done. … He didn’t do anything wrong. “
Torres, a father of three who was stationed in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, was shot dead within 100 feet by Orlando police officers working in the area. Officials found Torres on the ground, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Frank Chisari, who heads the OPD’s homicide squad, described Engram’s actions as “a brazen act of violence”.
“These detectives have been working non-stop since Sunday morning catching this guy and making sure downtown is safe for people,” Chisari said. He said detectives relied on local companies sharing videos from that morning to link Engram to the crime.
Sprague said Torres and his friend went downtown on Saturday night, where they went to some places with Torres’ dog for something to eat and drink. Before heading home, the duo decided they wanted empanadas and dropped their dog in Torres’ car before walking to get the snack. But they never made it, said Sprague.
Sprague said Torres’ family demand privacy while they mourn, but said they told detectives that Torres was a “prankster” and they remembered him each time as “the life of their party”.
“They are devastated by this, and so are his children,” said Sprague. She said the day Torres was killed was also his 4-year-old daughter’s birthday.
“He had bought a gold dress for her,” she said, choking. “… He didn’t have a chance to give it to her.”
Ingram surrendered without a hitch on Wednesday, Sprague said, and was arrested for first degree murder with a gun.
“There are no winners here,” said Sprague, noting that Engram and his family will have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. “It was a split second decision and it was a serious one.”
This article was written by Grace Toohey of The Orlando Sentinel and is legally licensed through the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publishing network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]
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