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UPDATE: East Mason Shooting - Charges Upgraded


The charges on Phuc Nguyen have been increased from Attempted First Degree Murder to Second Degree Felony Murder. This is according to the Joint Homicide Investigation Team.

Because Nguyen is accused of committing an armed robbery and fired shots - which led to the victim returning fire in self defense - Kevin Espinal, a passenger in Nguyen's car, was shot and killed. Here are the details from the previous account…

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At approximately 4:00 AM on Sunday, December 27th, APD was contacted about a shooting in the 500 block of East Mason Drive. There were no known injuries at that time, but a Be On The Lookout with the suspect vehicle description was broadcast. At approximately 5:00 AM, Florida Hospital Apopka contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) about a deceased victim that had been brought in by private vehicle. OCSO was directed to the location where the deceased was picked up and the suspect vehicle from the East Mason shooting was located.

Interviews of witnesses and suspects detailed that a theft occurred on Saturday evening (December 26th). The theft victim gathered some friends who all conspired to return to the 500 block of East Mason to recover the stolen item.

These individuals surrounded the residence on East Mason Drive. There was a verbal confrontation with the resident who was inside the house. Three of the subjects left, but suspect Phuc Nguyen and suspect/victim Kevin Espinal remained.

Nguyen allegedly fired a weapon into the residence from outside resulting in an exchange of gunfire with the house occupant. Nguyen and Espinal then fled the scene in a vehicle, but fired additional gunshots as they were leaving. During the gunfire exchange, victim Espinal was struck in the head as he sat in the passenger seat of the suspect's vehicle.


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