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Walton County Sheriff’s Officials make arrests a year later after a drive-by shooting left a woman paralyzed

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 9:38 PM CST
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A woman’s life changed forever one year ago. Deputies said a drive-by shooting and a case of mistaken identity left a Defuniak Springs resident Juana Arano paralyzed from the chest down.

“They were attempting to take the life of someone else,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson.

Adkinson said the family finally has some answers.

In a press conference on Tuesday, he announced four people are being charged with attempted murder in what the police called a targeted shooting.

20-year-old Elijah Neal, 23-year-old Glenda Hamilton, and 21-year-old Nicholas Campbell have all been arrested. However, 22-year-old Khalil Staley is still at large.

“We’re confident, we’re gonna bring him into custody, he’s from this area as are the rest of the individuals involved,” said Adkinson.

During the press conference, Arano re-lived those terrifying moments.

“No, they’re shooting at me, they’re gonna kill me,” said Arano.

Deputies say at least 17 bullets were shot at her car on January 10th, 2021 while she was driving along Highway 90 in Defuniak Springs.

“That’s the number of rounds we know for a fact were fired -- multiple shooters, multiple weapons,” said Adkinson.

Arano is a mother of two: a 17-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter.

“It’s been hard on both children, mainly the oldest son,” said Arano.

She said she continues to uplift her son and give him faith. Arano said she does not want her son to end up like them.

The family has been struggling financially and is asking anyone who can to donate to their GoFundMe. Officials said the previous donations have been used for a handicapped van and ramp installed at the family’s home.

Deputies urge anyone that has any information on Khalil Staley, to call the Walton County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (850) 863-TIPS.

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