Gun used in teen shooting reported stolen from Alachua

American Legion hall in Gainesville
American Legion hall in Gainesville
Seth Johnson

One of the firearms connected to the shooting of five teens at an American Legion hall in Gainesville on June 24 was reported stolen from a home in Alachua in May.

According to an Alachua Police Department (APD) report—which Mainstreet Daily News obtained through an open records request—the owner of the 9mm handgun linked to the shootings reported the firearm stolen from their home on NW 134th Terrace in Alachua on May 30.

Alachua County Sheriff’s (ASO) spokesperson Art Forgey confirmed that it was the same gun used in the June 24 attack that left five juveniles wounded, one critically, at a nighttime party. 

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Forgey also said more than one gun has been confiscated in connection with the incident, but GPD spokesperson John Alexander has not returned requests for comment to confirm.

The Alachua burglary remains an open investigation. According to the report, the theft happened when no one was home and there was no forced entry by the perpetrators(s). The offenses on the report are grand theft larceny and first degree petit theft larceny.

On the night of the shooting ASO deputies arrested two suspects in a stolen vehicle after a high speed chase. The driver was identified as Jakarean Ford, 14, and the passenger was Javari Baptiste, 17.

GPD charged Baptiste with attempted murder. The ASO also filed charges on Baptiste for possession of a stolen firearm and resisting without violence. Ford was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, driving without a license, possession of marijuana and for accessory after the fact.

On Friday, the GPD Criminal Intelligence Unit apprehended Christian T. Jones, 16, and charged him with attempted murder and carrying a concealed firearm. GPD also charged Jarquez Kerreim Mitchell, 17, with aggravated assault and carrying a concealed firearm, according to police reports.

According to Forgey, since 2017 the ASO has recovered 211 stolen firearms.

A number of guns are stolen from unlocked vehicles and from homes in Alachua County every year.

In December the ASO answered a call for a robbery in Newberry that is also an ongoing investigation. A resident reported a stolen sawed-off double-barrel shotgun and ivory handle revolver stolen while she was at church.

In March the ASO responded to a rash of break-ins in Newberry. From those crimes, deputies reported all 12 of the vehicles were unlocked and four firearms were stolen.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note more than one gun was confiscated in connection with the crime. 

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