A 10-year-old boy hid in a bathroom and called 9-1-1 while the burglary was taking place.
Two men were killed and one woman seriously injured overnight Thursday, July 30, in an apparent burglary and battery in the gated Lake Crescent Reserve community in Windermere.
The attack took place in the 2900 block of Sunbittern Court.
At about 11:09 p.m., a 10-year-old boy, who lives at the home with his grandparents, called 9-1-1 to report the burglary while he hid in a bathroom.
According to Windermere Police Chief David Ogden, the suspect, Ezekiel Emanuel Hopkins, 34, attempted to steal a vehicle from the home. The homeowners, John and Lisa Savey, confronted the defendant; Hopkins attacked and killed John Savey with a baseball bat. Lisa Savey retreated into the house and yelled for her grandson to get to a safer part of the house. Hopkins followed her inside and attacked her. Then, Hopkins attacked John and Lisa Savey's son, James Savey, the boy's uncle, and killed him inside the home. Lisa Savey survived the attack; she was transported to the hospital, where she was admitted with serious injuries.
Officers from the Windermere Police Department, Ocoee Police Department and Oakland Police Department, as well as deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, responded to the burglary in progress. The joint team began communicating with Hopkins through a closed door and made a decision to enter the home through a bathroom. Hopkins was located and arrested. He was transported to Health Central Hospital; he appeared to have ingested bleach and was not responsive at the scene.
Hopkins has been charged with two counts of murder and aggravated battery.
“It’s a horrific situation,” Ogden said. “This is a small, quiet town. Certainly, we do not have a lot of crime, but we are not immune to crime. We know that crime has happened here in the past and unfortunately, has reached our doorsteps one more time.
“We don’t know why he did what he did. I just couldn’t tell you.”
Police say Hopkins also is suspected in an incident earlier in the evening. Prior to the 9-1-1 call, members of the Ocoee Police Department observed a suspicious vehicle on Ocoee Apopka Road behind a construction area. The vehicle fled at a high rate of speed down Maguire Road and was not pursued, pursuant to policy. Video surveillance shows the vehicle ramming the gate at the entrance to Lake Crescent Reserve to gain entry into to the community. It crashed into a tree next to the Savey residence.
Ogden said police do not believe the Savey family was targeted.
“I don’t believe the family was targeted,” he said. “I believe that he was trying to look for another vehicle to steal, because he had seem some police officers some time before looking at him.”
Ogden said he already has been in contact with people who attend church with Lisa Savey to get support for the family. He also praised the actions of the boy.
“This brave young man, and the (9-1-1) dispatcher (did) a phenomenal job,” he said.
Ogden said the crime scene is still being processed and expects forensics teams will be there most of the day.
Town Manager Robert Smith said this type of crime is unusual in this small community.
“This is going to send shockwaves to everybody; we typically don’t get calls like this,” he said. “Windermere is a close-knit community; we will get through this.”
According to Orange County court records, Hopkins' criminal record includes numerous charges: domestic violence; aggravated stalking; battery; violation of domestic injunction; possession of a controlled substance; sale of a controlled substance; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of a weapon by a convicted felon; and more.
The case is active and ongoing.
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