Family, friends mourn as TPD continues to investigate shooting that killed teen

Officers and community leaders are once again searching for ways to curb gun violence in Tallahassee following a turbulent 24-hour-stretch over the weekend.
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 10:37 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Officers and community leaders are once again searching for ways to curb gun violence in Tallahassee following a turbulent 24-hour-stretch over the weekend.

The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating three shootings from Saturday and Sunday, one of which took the life of a high school student.

According to TPD Director of Communications Alicia Turner, the pace of 2022 shootings echoes 2021.

“No family wants to have to deal with it,” she said.

According to TPD’s incident notes, the first shooting incident happened on Magnolia Circle Saturday evening. The victim told police a suspect kicked down his door and fired his gun. No one was reportedly struck by bullets. There are no arrests reported so far.

A few hours later, officers responded to 1370 Ocala Road. A body was found outside an apartment complex. A party with 30 teens was found inside the building. Officers have not directly connected the gathering to the homicide.

WCTV has not identified the victim. Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna confirmed the victim was a Rickards High School student.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young man’s family as well as everyone associated with James S. Rickards High School,” he wrote in a statement.

Alrick Austin is a local mentor and grew up with the victim’s father.

“I can’t imagine what my friend is going through now, I know he is hurting,” he said.

While no suspects had been identified as of Monday night, Austin said youth-on-youth crime is all too common.

“A lot of times they need someone to talk to, you’d be surprised once you reach out to them, and they realize you’re sincere from your heart, they’ll break down and tell you things you had no idea they were going through,” he said.

Officers responded to a third incident Sunday evening. An argument became heated. Police said two men were walking away when they were fired at, both struck but expected to survive.

Turner said bystanders can save lives by calling 911 if an argument seems to be heating up.

“A lot of these incidents are things that have escalated over arguments. We want to make sure if you see something start escalating, make sure you call authorities,” she said.

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