An Alachua man was arrested for a ﬁve-person shooting in the city about three weeks ago, Alachua Police said.
Kenzel Lashod Edwards, 22, was arrested on six counts of attempted murder Friday morning. Police are searching for his brother, McKenzly Alphae Edwards Jr., 24, who is wanted on the same charges, as well as possession of a ﬁrearm by a convicted felon, said APD Chief Chad Scott during a press conference.
On the night of Jan. 15, Jasmine Thomas, 24, drove her three children — a 3-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and a 20-month-old boy — to 14223 NW 156 Place. Resident Clifford Snead, 18, and Ron Fairley, then 19, walked out of the house and to the passenger side of Thomas’ black Ford Expedition, Scott said.
A black four-door sedan drove behind Thomas’ SUV, stopped and Edwards Jr., who is also known as “Kenny Poo Poo,” and his brother stepped out. They used an assault riﬂ e to ﬁ re at least 25 bullets at the Ford Expedition, said Sgt. Jesse Sandusky, an APD spokesperson.
Both men got back in the sedan and drove away, Scott said. Police do not know who the driver was.
Thomas and her older children were shot along with Snead and Fairley, Scott said. Fairley is still hospitalized, he said.
Bullets hit the car seat of Thomas’ 20-month old son, but did not pass through and injure the child, Scott said. Wallace Mazon, a 23-year-old UF political science and African American studies senior, is the uncle of Fairley, who turned 20 on Sunday, and shared Edward’s photo on Facebook the next day after the shooting.
He said he heard through word-of-mouth Edwards was the culprit.
“It’s messed up,” Mazon said. “It just happened recently, so I haven’t really had a chance to digest it.”
He posted again after Edwards was arrested and said his brother is still on the loose while Fairley recovers from seven bullet wounds. The U.S. Marshals Task Force and Alachua County Sheriff’s Warrants Division arrested Kenzel Edwards and Rakeidra Alexandria Neal, 27, on Friday, Scott said.
Neal was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and pointing a gun while taunting another person last Tuesday, Sandusky said. Police are investigating if she is connected to the shooting.
Police suspect gang violence was the cause of this shooting and a fatal shooting of Dana Walker Jr. in Maude Lewis Park the day before. The Edwards brothers and Neal are known associates of a small, local gang, which rivals the gang Kemarri Hampton, who was charged in the shooting of Walker, is in, police said.
“The investigation into these local gangs and their criminal involvement will continue until they are dismantled at their core,” Scott said.