Jacksonville police have arrested a man they allege was involved in a mass shooting in August in which 11 people were wounded and a woman’s unborn child was killed, The Florida Times-Union reports.
The public wants someone who is accused of shooting a person arrested and locked up because they certainly could be dangerous to others. And police want the same thing. They get pressured from news reports as well as higher-ups and victims’ family members to quickly collar someone for the crime.
But rushed judgment is never good, despite the desire to make an arrest for murder in Jacksonville. It’s sometimes easy to spot these cases because once they make their way into the criminal justice system, prosecutors sometimes have problems with too few witnesses and those witnesses who rush to judgement without being completely sure of what they saw.
A defendant who remains quiet, hires an experienced attorney, and sets to work building a defense can often be in much better shape than many would have thought at the outset.
In this case, the 22-year-old faces a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. Authorities say they tracked him for a week before making the arrest.
According to a police report, witnesses allegedly saw him pulling out a gun, pointing it at them and opening fire during a party Aug. 28 in the Brooklyn area of Jacksonville. It’s unclear if anyone was hit or whether the source of the information is reliable.
The man denied being armed at the party. Police say they found a weapon inside the home when he was arrested, though it’s unclear who else lives inside the house with the 22-year-old.
The newspaper reports that more than 150 people attended the party, which was meant to celebrate several people’s birthdays. Police have said publicly that many people witnessed the shootings, yet haven’t come forward to talk with police. They have offered no motivation for the 22-year-old being involved with the shooting.
According to the newspaper, the man was released from prison in May after serving time for grand theft auto and leaving the scene of an accident causing injuries. He has past convictions for marijuana possession and giving a false name to police, but no violent crimes.
With 150 people in a close space, a shooting can really disrupt the party! And it most likely resulted in people scattering, running in different directions and just generally trying to get away. No one stands still and watches the shooting as it happens. Therefore, cases of shootings in big crowds are tough cases for the prosecution to make.
There are likely many contradictions that the police have heard from witnesses. They may have heard a name from one or two witnesses of a man who happens to be a convicted felon and they zeroed in on him as a prime suspect. The true facts of what happened will hopefully come out as this man nears trial.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
More Blog Entries:
Offensive Shirt Leads to Jacksonville Aggravated Assault Charge: August 24, 2011
Stabbing at Party Turns Fatal; 20-Year-Old Charged With Murder in Jacksonville: August 23, 2011
Jacksonville police arrest man in mass shooting, by Jim Schoettler, The Florida Times-Union