Arrest made in 2009 drive-by shooting that killed Air Force vet - FOX 35 News Orlando

Arrest made in 2009 drive-by shooting that killed Air Force veteran

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Cameron Leezell Taylor Cameron Leezell Taylor
Gilbert Leon Gilbert Leon

An Air Force veteran of 17 years was gunned down -- an innocent victim who inadvertently drove through what turned out to be a gang shootout back in 2009.

Four years later, a break in the case.  An anonymous tip leads Phoenix Police and the U.S. Marshals to the man accused of killing 54-year-old Gilbert Leon.

"I started calling everybody.. all my sons and daughters saying they caught him, they caught him," said the victim's mother, Clemencia Leon.

Family members of Gilbert Leon are relieved that four and a half years after the deadly drive-by shooting, suspect Cameron Leezell Taylor was taken into custody.

Leon's family was surprised to learn their loved one's suspected killer was caught in the same neighborhood where they had been living.

"All these years, he was right under our noses, we can say, because we used to live around there," said Clemencia.

The 26-year-old Taylor is accused of opening fire on members of a rival gang near 16th Street and Elwood.

The 54-year-old victim was killed in the gunfire.  The 17-year Air Force veteran had no idea he was driving into a shootout.

"He shouldn't have died the way he did.. it was violent," said Clemencia.

Taylor was added to the U.S. Marshal's most wanted list last year.  Then several weeks ago, a break in the case.

"I almost lost hope and then last few weeks, I started getting a lot of phone calls and sightings," said Detective Karl Martin of the Phoenix Police.

"A citizen did call in, gave us a piece of information that we needed," said U.S. Marshal David Gonzales.

Dep. U.S. Marshal Frederick Freeman added, "He was back in town and as the marshal noted, hiding out with family and associates."

Police arrested Taylor Thursday night at his uncle's apartment.

"I hope he gets what he really deserves and my son will have justice," said Clemencia.

Phoenix Police and U.S. Marshals are glad this suspect is off the streets.

"I want to thank all of them," said Clemencia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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