Gang member killed preacher's son outside church, then attacked a woman and his mother, sheriff says

Gang member killed preacher’s son outside church, then attacked a woman and his mother, sheriff says

(As originally published with additional photos, Tue, October 24th 2023, 3:19 PM EDT; local article here)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (TND) — A gang member is charged with shooting a preacher’s son to death outside his father’s church.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida reported someone calling them about finding the body of 20-year old Roderick Wilson, Jr., in the parking lot of the Pentecostal Church of God in Winter Haven. That happened at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

Wilson had been living in an apartment on church property.

“Roderick was a Christian boy, and he loved the lord,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Now, unfortunately, he got to see the lord face to face a lot sooner than I’m sure he wanted to or should have. But we have to bring justice through our system to the Roderick Wilson, Jr., family.”

Investigators collected evidence, conducted interviews, and watched security video from a building in the area that captured the murder.

Sunday afternoon, detectives spotted their suspect, 22-year-old Taquion “Quan” Cotton, near the crime scene.

Arresting him wasn’t easy.

The sheriff’s office said Cotton saw a woman entering her home and he tried to get inside. In fact, they said he battered the woman and put her in a chokehold.

Then, Cotton’s mother, who lives in the area, ran to help the woman and help deputies catch her son.

That caused Cotton to start biting his mother. Authorities said deputies were forced to use a Taser on Cotton to protect the two women and get him secured.

Finally in custody, Cotton yelled at his mother, demanding that she not press charges against him for biting her.

Gang member killed preacher's son outside church, then attacked a woman and his mother, sheriff says
Taquion “Quan” Cotton faces charges including murder for the shooting death of Roderick Wilson, Jr., Oct. 22, 2023. (Polk Co. Sheriff’s Office)

According to the sheriff, Cotton and Wilson had gotten into a confrontation in the church parking lot, and Cotton drove away, but then he returned and shot Wilson to death after another argument.

Now, authorities are looking into a possible motive, and they want to get their hands on Cotton’s gun. They’re even offering a $5,000 reward for its recovery.

Cotton is charged with first-degree murder, burglary with battery, kidnapping, battery-domestic with prior conviction, harassing in a felony proceeding, resisting with violence, and tampering with physical evidence. Those are all felonies.

He’s also charged with discharging a firearm in a residential area and resisting without violence.

The sheriff added, Cotton’s prior criminal history includes 11 felonies and 9 misdemeanors including attempted murder, aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, burglaries, thefts, batteries, drug and weapons violations, and resisting.

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