Teen dies from gunshot, suspect’s charges to be upgraded to murder


LEESBURG, Fla.  – A teenager shot Thursday in Leesburg has died.

Elian R. Hughes, 17, sustained two “apparent” gunshot wounds, one to the hand and one to the abdomen, in the area of Laurel Oaks Apartments about 5 p.m. Thursday, according to Leesburg police Lt. Joe Iozzi.

Hughes was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center on Thursday evening where he underwent surgery, but died overnight.


Mohyjah A. King, also 17 and a Leesburg High School student, initially was arrested on an aggravated battery charge in the case. Iozzi said Friday morning that the charge is expected to be upgraded to murder.

Police responded to the area of the apartment complex on Sleepy Hollow Road to reports of a shooting and a Nike sandal was found at the scene.

According to an arrest affidavit, witnesses reported seeing King, also known as “Tarzan,” chasing Hughes before hearing gunshots. One witness told police that King had told him that Hughes had tried to “jack” (rob) him.

Iozzi said during an interview Friday morning that some type of “illicit activity” had occurred between the two teens that sparked gunfire, but he wouldn’t elaborate — citing the pending investigation.

“It’s evident they were up to no good,” Iozzi said.

One witness attempted to drive Hughes to the hospital, but eventually took him the Lowe’s Home Improvement parking lot on U.S. Highway 441 in Leesburg for initial treatment by the Leesburg Airport Fire Station as well as Leesburg and Lake County paramedics.

The affidavit adds a search of King’s Grove Ridge Circle home in Leesburg revealed clothing, including a Nike sandal, which matched what witnesses said he was wearing during the shooting.

Police said King later came home without the dreadlocks hair style he reportedly was wearing during the shooting. A witness also reported that after the shooting he spotted King rubbing pepper on his hands, which the suspect told him was for the (police) dogs.

King also was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and was being held without bail.