Third teen dies in string of connected shootings in Florida

April 5 (UPI) — A 16-year-old girl found shot by the side of the road late last week in northern Florida has died, authorities said, lifting the death toll from a recent string of connected shootings to three.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told reporters during a Tuesday press conference that Layla Silvernail had succumbed to her injuries at the hospital.

She was the first of three victims found in the string of shootings in Marion County, located about 80 miles northwest of Orlando.

She was found Thursday night by police in the area of Forest Lakes Park on SE 183rd Avenue Road suffering from a gunshot wound. She was transported in critical condition to the hospital.

The second victim, a 17-year-old boy, was found dead from a gunshot wound the next morning in the area of SE 94th Street and SE 188th Court.

The third victim, also a 16-year-old girl, was found dead from a gunshot wound in Silvernail’s car, which had been located Saturday partially submerged at the edge of a body of water in the area of Malauka Loop.

The names of the other two victims were being withheld under Marsy’s Law, which gives victims of crime rights over what information can be made public.

Woods told reporters that these shootings were connected but isolated and that there is nothing to indicate that their deaths were the product of a serial killer.

“All of our victims were known to know each other and were together leading up to the incident itself,” he said.

Little information about the shooting has been made public, with Woods on Tuesday citing the need to ensure the integrity of the case.

Woods did say that all victims were friends and that their deaths may be connected to what he called “wannabe gangs.”

“We have multiple suspects,” he said, adding “an abundance of evidence has been collected.”

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