Suspect in Pasco road-rage shooting arrested
The man wanted in connection with a road-rage shooting Friday night in Pasco County has been arrested, according to law enforcement.
Deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, in conjunction with the Tampa Police Department, arrested Luis Ramund Brito in Hillsborough County Monday evening.
Last week's shooting played out in front of Treva Cox's house Friday night, when her daughter and son-in-law were on their way back from getting ice cream.
Pasco County deputies said Lauren Batcho was behind the wheel and noticed a vehicle heading toward her without its lights on, so she flashed hers. As the two cars passed through an intersection, the driver of the other vehicle fired a shotgun blast into Lauren's, hitting her and her husband, who was in the front passenger seat.
"We didn't hear anything until she got to the door, but she was laying on the horn and screaming for help for a couple of minutes," Cox said, adding the last few nights have been mostly sleepless. "The main thing is just the trauma is so hard to deal with. It's so unexpected."
The shotgun blast grazed Lauren, but hit Eric Batcho in the face, leaving him with serious injuries. He's already undergone multiple surgeries, his mother-in-law told FOX 13. They've started raising money online to help cover his medical expenses.
Cox said her kids could have been killed.
"Just knowing they're going to be OK is enough to keep me going. It was so frightening at first because it could have gone badly for her husband if he hadn't gotten the help he did," she said, noting that she doesn't consider it road rage because Lauren and Eric Batcho did nothing wrong. "They were not doing anything. They just were coming home from getting ice cream."
Detectives believe Luis Brito is the shooter and said he had another road-rage encounter prior to the run-in with the Batchos.
"There was an altercation in that neighborhood earlier in the night before the shotgun blast into the victim's vehicle, so that person helped to identify the suspect," said Kevin Doll, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office. "He has gone in hiding. He ditched his car, so we're confident this is the suspect and we are looking for him."
Brito has a long criminal history that includes nearly a dozen arrests between Pasco and Hillsborough counties, with charges ranging from armed robbery to drug offenses.
Brito has been booked into the Hillsborough jail. He will eventually be transported back to Pasco County to face charges.