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Monday, March 04, 2024

Five teenagers shot at Gainesville American Legion

The suspects fled the scene and were later arrested by Alachua County deputies


A shooting at a party left five teens injured Thursday night.

At about 10:26 p.m., Gainesville Police Department officers responded to several 911 calls about gunshots at the American Legion located at 4701 NW Sixth St.

When officers arrived, they discovered four teenage victims outside and one teenage victim inside of the building, all of whom had been shot.

GPD spokesperson Graham Glover said one teen is in serious condition and the other four sustained non life threatening injuries. They were all transported to UF Health Shands Hospital.

Two shooters exchanged gunfire at the party causing the five victims to be shot, according to a GPD press release.

Two suspects, Jakarean Ford, 14, and Javari Baptiste, 17, stole a car and fled the scene after the shooting.

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It’s unclear whether Ford was involved in the incident or if he was just the getaway driver for Baptiste, Glover said.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputies found the stolen car at the 9000 block of West Newberry Road, according to an ACSO press release.

ACSO attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Ford, who was driving, evaded deputies and initiated a car chase.

Deputies deployed road spikes during the pursuit and deflated one of the front tires.

The car chase ended at the entrance to Cabana Beach Apartments where the boys fled on foot. However, deputies caught up to Ford and arrested him.

Baptiste fled into the apartment complex, but deputies arrested him after surrounding the area with the help of an ACSO helicopter and K-9 Unit.

Deputies also recovered a stolen 9 mm handgun and ski mask used in the shooting. Both Baptiste and Ford were taken to GPD for questioning before going to the Alachua Regional Juvenile Detention Center at 3440 NE 39th Ave.

Baptiste was charged with attempted felony murder by GPD and with possession of a stolen firearm and resisting without violence by ACSO.

Ford was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and possession of marijuana by ACSO.

On Friday, GPD’s Criminal Intelligence Unit found and arrested two additional suspects.

Christian Jones,16, was identified as the other shooter involved in the incident, and GPD charged him with attempted felony murder and carrying a concealed firearm.

Jarquez Kerreim Mitchell, 17, was charged with aggravated assault and carrying a concealed firearm. It’s unclear what his role was in the incident, Glover said.

The motive of the shooting is still unknown. GPD asks anyone who has additional information about this incident to contact the GPD Detectives Bureau at 352-393-7710 or the Alachua County Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867.

Contact Jake Reyes at Follow him on Twitter @frlJakeReyes.

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