By MYRA THRIFT, Staff Writer
“Outsiders come to town to cause trouble,” is how a local police major classified the scene — a hail of gunfire and the screams of people disrupting the peace of the early Sunday morning hours at a Waycross motel on the Brunswick Highway.
A man was killed at the Hampton Inn in Waycross while another was left fighting for his life, said Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner. Meanwhile, three people are in jail here facing charges associated with what has been classified as an ambush.
At 3:30 a.m. Sunday, officers were dispatched to the motel at 1720 Brunswick Highway to investigate a crowd of people chasing others in the parking lot, Tanner said.
Police arriving found Jeremy Alexander Brookins, 30, of Jacksonville, Fla., near the motel pool with gunshot wounds to his torso, the chief said. Tanner said Ware County Emergency Medical Technicians provided urgent care for the man but he was later pronounced dead.
Shooting victim, Dewayne Lamont Scott, 29, was in a motel room, Tanner said. He had been wounded by gunfire. He was taken to a medical facility by ambulance for treatment of his wounds, Tanner said.
Waycross Police Major Chris Tatum said Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock he had been out on the call for some 12 hours.
“We don’t like to see this kind of activity come into our town,” Tatum said. “This is a peaceful place and we want to keep it that way.”
No motive for the gunplay has been established, authorities said.
The investigation led to three Jacksonville men being arrested and charged with several crimes, Tanner said.
Mark Isaac Jefferson, 28, was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, said Tanner, as well as felony possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Leroy Girard Whittaker, 18, is charged with reckless conduct, possession of a handgun without a license and possession of marijuana. Devante Demorris Starks, 26, was charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and felony possession of marijuana.
A boy under the age of 16 was detained but was later released without being charged, authorities said.
Broadcast media in north Florida has reported that an attorney for a Jacksonville rap singer, Yungeen Ace, whose real name is Kenyatta Bullard, said his client was among a group of people ambushed at the motel.
Authorities have not confirmed that Bullard was involved.
Bullard had an engagement at a Knight Avenue club called The Vibe Saturday, according to the rapper’s Facebook account.
The attorney, David Haas, released a statement: “With respect to the investigation, we will not confirm the relationship between the people shot and Bullard. Bullard cooperated with the investigation, but (we) will not be commenting any further.”
Bullard was the only survivor of a quadruple shooting last June on Town Center Parkway in Jacksonville, according to broadcast media there. His brother, Trevon, was among three men killed in that shooting, the media reported.
“At this time, the (Hampton Inn) investigation is ongoing,” Tanner said. “The Waycross Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding the case to contact them at the 24-hour tip line, 287-2924 or 287-2921.
All information will be kept confidential, Tanner said.