Palm Coast, FL – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office makes an arrest in the death of a 17-year-old who was found shot to death in Palm Coast’s W section.
The suspect, according to FCSO, is 16-year-old Benjamin Sean Allen, who is now facing first degree murder charges in the death of Elijah Rizvan.
“I want to start by saying that our team has done an incredible job in this case. A dozen of our detectives worked around the clock from Friday night to solve this case and I am proud to say that an arrest has been made in the death of this 17-year-old,” Sheriff Rick Staly said during a press conference earlier this morning (July 14th).
Immediately after the shooting, Flagler deputies talked to a witness who said that Rizvan had set up a drug deal to marijuana to someone and that the arrangement was made on Snapchat.
What Rizvan didn’t know was that they actually planned on robbing him.
The same witness also told law enforcement that they saw a silver or gray sedan pull up to the house off of Westford Lane and two black males step outside, grabbed Rizvan by the arms, while one shot him in the chest.
After shooting Rizvan, they got back into the car and sped off.
Detectives with the FCSO were able to utilize the Snapchat app to grab a name of a potential witness who resides in Island Estates. Deputies investigated that residence and found a silver Kia Forte and a gray Ford Focus.
With the use of their License Plate Reader data system (LPR), detectives were able to search for vehicles matching that description, which also provided other leads.
Video surveillance from the area of the crime shows a vehicle matching the Ford Focus in the area just two minutes before the murder and then speeding away minutes later.
Three witnesses were also interviewed by detectives and each one of them told investigators that they were with the suspect during the incident and that the suspect was known as “Ben.”
That’s when detectives determined that “Ben” was actually Benjamin Sean Allen, who was a resident in Palm Coast’s R section.
Their investigation also revealed the following timeline from the events Friday night, according to FCSO:
- 7:09 – The Ford Focus is recorded by LPR traveling westbound on Palm Coast Parkway
- 7:15 – The four subjects are seen on surveillance footage at the Cue Note Billboard Room
- 8:15 – The four subjects leave the cue note (During that one hour period, the drug deal/robbery was orchestrated)
- 8:24 – The Focus is seen in the area of the shooting
- 8:26 – The shooting is reported via a 911 call
- 8:27 – FCSO arrives on scene with Rizvan laying in the street
- 8:32 – The Focus is seen traveling east on Palm Coast Parkway
- 8:50 – The Focus enters Island Estates
In less than 15 hours, all persons involved were identified by the Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives made contact with Allen at his R section home that following night (July 15th). He was brought to the Flagler County Courthouse, along with his mother and step-father, for questioning.
During his interview, he admitted to being in the vehicle with the three witnesses but then invoked his right to an attorney, bringing all questioning to a stop.
FCSO then worked with the State Attorney’s Office to get an arrest warrant for first-degree murder based on the evidence they gathered during the investigation.
Allen was arrested this morning just before four o’clock and was placed into custody at the Flagler County Courthouse, before being transferred to the Flagler County Jail, then the Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach.
Detectives were also able to secure a search warrant for his home, where they found the clothing they believe he wore at the time of the shooting.
“We believe this was a planned and deliberate murder,” Sheriff Staly said. “This is the second young man murdered in Palm Coast this year.”
This investigation is still ongoing. Additional charges are likely.
A mugshot and booking data regarding Allen is also not available through the Flagler County Jail or the Department of Juvenile Justice.