Man arrested before Tom Brown Park shootout has done time in state, federal prison

Court records show previous arrests for drugs, guns and violence
Durrell Lee was taken into custody after what Tallahassee Police describe as an ambush and...
Durrell Lee was taken into custody after what Tallahassee Police describe as an ambush and shooting at Tom Brown Park on the night of May 25 and early hours of May 26.(Tallahassee Police Department)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:10 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man who was arrested moments before a deadly shootout in Tom Brown Park will make his first appearance before a judge Saturday morning, court records show.

35-year-old Durrell Lee is facing nine charges including counts of trafficking cocaine, heroin, barbiturates and amphetamines.

Leon County Clerk of Courts records show he has a history of arrests dating back to 2007.

Court records show Lee was arrested on aggravated battery charges in 2007 and later sentenced to prison for an attack near the Moon nightclub. The Florida Department of Corrections website shows Lee served nearly two years in state prison on those charges and was released in February 2012.

A spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirms Lee also served time in federal prison on firearms charges. Records in the PACER system show Lee was arrested during an August 2015 traffic stop and accused of having three guns in his car.

Federal court records show Lee was sentenced to seven years in prison, but released early in June 2021, after a judge granted him compassionate release. His order references nearly 1500 pages of medical records which cite Lee’s inability to walk and need for “24-hour nursing care” as well as being “at high risk if infected with COVID-19.”

“Given Defendant’s current medical condition, his marked disability, and the three years of supervised release to follow his time in custody ... this Court finds that Defendant will not pose a danger to the community upon release,” the judge’s order says.

Lee may still have been on supervised release when he was arrested Thursday night, court records show.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is in consultation with our partners at the State Attorney’s Office in regard to this matter,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to WCTV Friday afternoon.

Leon County Clerk of Courts records show Lee will make his first appearance before a judge on the new charges Saturday morning.

Arrest affidavits with additional details about what happened during a Thursday traffic stop and subsequent shootout at Tom Brown Park are expected to be made public after that hearing.

According to Tallahassee Police, 25-year-old Asia Fitzgerald was killed in that shootout with police after officers say she ambushed them and opened fire. Another man was questioned and released. It’s not clear if or how the three are connected.

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