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Benjamin Allen, 16, Arrested In Shooting of Elijah Rizvan Over a $125-Drug Deal

| July 14, 2019

Benjamin Allen, the suspect in the shooting.

Last Updated: Sunday, 12:25 p.m.

Benjamin Allen, a 16-year-old, was arrested in the early hours of Sunday (July 14) in the shooting death of 17-year-old Elijah Rizvan on Westford Lane Friday evening.

Allen is charged with first degree murder. He is a resident of Tidelands, in Palm Coast. The sheriff is asking the State Attorney to charge Allen as an adult.

Detectives made the arrest barely 30 hours after the shooting, which took place in the street in front of 7 Westford Lane–and in front of Rizvan’s girlfriend. A neighbor heard a single gunshot. Rizvan was killed with a .380 caliber bullet. A single shell casing was located near the victim’s body.

Deputies and detectives had been looking for two black men in a silver sedan that was captured on surveillance video made available by neighbors. But detectives also had in their possession personal electronic devices belonging to Rizvan that appear to have aided in possibly reconstructing the time that led up to the shooting, then in leading to his assailant or assailants.

The crime was set up on SnapChat. Unknown to Rizvan, his assailants were planning to rob him, not pay him for the marijuana they were arranging to buy from him. “So he lost his life for a bag of weed and what he was hoping for $125, pretty sad,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.

Sheriff Rick Staly announcing the arrest this morning. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Sheriff Rick Staly announcing the arrest this morning. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

According to one witness who spoke with detectives–likely the girlfriend of the victim–“a silver or gray sedan pulled up to the residence and two black males exited the vehicle, grabbed Rizvan by his arms, and one of them shot him in his chest,” Staly said this morning. “The males then get back in the car and the car speeds off.”

Using SnapChat, detectives located a potential witness who lives in Island Estates. In the driveway of that residence was a silver Kia Forte and a gray Ford Focus. We also used our LPR data system to search for vehicles that matched the description provided by the witness, which also provided leads,” the sheriff said, referring to license plate readers. Those readers essentially traced the route the suspects’ car followed on the way to the shooting and on the way back from it. The car detectives were looking for was a Ford Focus.

Three witnesses were interviewed, each independently speaking of being with the shooter, whom they identified as “Ben,” later identified as Benjamin Allen, of 70 South Riverview Bend Drive in Palm Coast’s Tidelands subdivision.

Here’s the timeline detectives established:

7:09 p.m.: The Ford Focus is recorded by LPR traveling westbound on Palm Coast Parkway.

7:15 p.m.: Four individuals in the Ford are seen on video surveillance at the Cue Note Billiard Room in Palm Coast, in City Marketplace. That is where the transaction is believed to have been set up.

8:15 p.m.: The four individuals, all of whom are teens, all of whom are from Palm Coast, are seen leaving Cue Note.

8:24 p.m.: The Ford Focus is seen through neighbors’ video surveillance in the area of the shooting, and by the witness at 7 Westford Lane, where the grandmother of the victim’s girlfriend lives.

8:26 p.m.: The 911 call reporting the shooting is placed.

8:27 p.m.: A Sheriff’s deputy arrives at the scene and finds Rizvan laying in the street. By then, Staly said, Rizvan had urged his girlfriend to pull out the marijuana he had in his pocket: he was worried about being found out with it. She complies, but doesn’t remove the full amount. Staly said it was a large enough amount to have made the possession a felony.

8:32 p.m.: The Ford Focus is seen traveling Eastbound on Palm Coast Pkwy by the sheriff’s LPR system.

8:50 p.m.: The Ford Focus enters Island Estates. Rizvan is dead.

The sneakers, hoodie and jeans Allen was believed to have been wearing at the time of the shooting were recovered at his home.

The 16 year old initially admitted to being in the vehicle, then asked for an attorney, so the questioning, which took place with his parents present, stopped. He was arrested at the Flagler County Courthouse at 3:48 a.m., processed at the county jail, then transferred to the Juvenile Justice system’s jail in Daytona Beach. Everyone involved had been identified within 15 hours. Detectives made contact with Allen at his home at 5:20 p.m. Saturday evening, less than 24 hours after the shooting.

“We believe this was a planned and deliberate murder. This is the second young man murdered in Palm Coast this year,” Staly said, speaking with reporters this morning. “Parents, get involved in your children’s life. Make sure you know who they are talking to, where they are going, what they are doing. Kids and adults living their lives in the drug world are setting themselves up for dangerous situations. This incident started with the sale of marijuana, and now a 17 year old is dead and a 16 year old is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.”

“If you’re going to live in criminal world of drug dealing, unfortunately this is one of the consequences you’re going to face,” the sheriff added.

The victim had been Baker Acted in the past and had been a runaway. Deputies were also called to his residence in connection with a domestic violence allegation involving a parent, though no charges were filed. Allen had had no previous contact with law enforcement.

The sheriff said the case pursued by his detectives through difficult space constraints at the county courthouse, where the sheriff’s personnel has been using space for lack of space of its own. “What we really had to do was commandeer part of the space from the clerk of the court–he probably now knows we did that–so that we could do a debriefing and assign additional tasks that needed to be done to follow this case. Fortunately I have a very resilient team,” the sheriff said.

The sheriff credited Cpl. George Hristakopoulos and detective Gabe Fuentes as leads in the case, but added that it was a team effort.

“There is likely to be additional charges and arrests,” the sheriff said.

The earlier stories are below

In Shooting Death of Elijah Rizvan, 17, Sheriff Says “All Theories Are On the Table”; Person of Interest Identified

Saturday, July 13, 4 p.m.–Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said this afternoon that “we have multiple theories that we are looking at” in the shooting death of 17-year-old Elijah Rizvan Friday night on Westford Lane in Palm Coast. “Everything is on the table. Would that include gangs? Yes, but there’s also other theories out there.” Staly did not rule out a connection with drugs or even a connection with other recent shootings in the city.

“I would say it was not random,” Staly said. “We have nobody in custody for the shooting, we have conducted a number of interviews and we have, through those interviews, we have identified a person of interest.”

The scene on Westford Lane this morning, where deputies were maintaining a no-go zone. (c FlaglerLive)

The scene on Westford Lane Saturday morning, where deputies were maintaining a no-go zone. (c FlaglerLive)

The sheriff would not disclose a number of elements surrounding the murder so as not to jeopardize the investigation. For example, he would not say whether Rizvan’s phone was recovered. But he did say that the investigation involves a number of “technological autopsies,” the sort of language associated with personal electronic devices that can yield a number of clues, establish timelines and potentially point to suspects. But those autopsies are time consuming. They depend on securing search warrants first, and they are being conducted both at the Sheriff’s Office, which has its own Crime Scene Investigations unit, and at other agencies when necessary.

Staly attended a noon briefing involving all those investigating the case. “Those things could take a while, not only to get the search warrant to do it but also go through all the data, assuming you can easily access the data,” Staly said. “I’m confident we can solve this case in a relatively quick manner but I hate to put a time frame on it.”

It is known to investigators but not releasable publicly whether Rizvan was armed or not, whether the weapon used in the murder was recovered or not, and how much interaction, if any, there had been between Rizvan and his assailants. What is also known is that Rizvan did not live on Westford Lane, but was visiting a friend there at the time of the shooting. (Early this morning, a woman was seen escorting another woman into one of the houses nearest the scene of the shooting. One of the women was sobbing.)

Staly stressed that while it could be frustrating to the public to have only small bits of information, it also reflects a deliberate approach to the investigation, or any investigation: “The one thing you don’t do in a homicide or really in any investigation is jump too quickly to a conclusion and then try to prove your theory,” he said, an approach, he explained, that would develop a tunnel vision that could easily harm the factual basis of the investigation. So a more broad-minded analysis applies “until you can narrow it down based on the evidence.” He added: “You don’t want to prematurely focus in on one theory or one individual because that could very well cause you not to be successful.”

Earlier in the day, a sheriff’s spokesperson said the sheriff’s office had never had any interaction, or reason to interact, with Rizvan. Rizvan’s father, John Gorman, said as much in a comment on FlaglerLive’s Facebook page: “As far as my son Elijah, he was not in the juvenile justice system. He was having some issues,” Gorman wrote. “I tried every service and rehabilitive program that was available for him. All to prevent him from ending up in the system. So they are out there, but the problem is the quality of those programs.”

In the same thread, Shoshanah Mercado, a psychologist in the school district, reacted with shock at the news. “this one really hurts. He was one of my favorites. Poor kid. This is so messed up,” she wrote.

Shortly before the interview, Staly appeared in front of the old Sheriff’s Operations Center in Bunnell to provide a brief update to a few television reporters.

The previous story is below.

Elijah Rizvan, 17, Is Shot Dead on Westford Lane in Palm Coast; Deputies Looking for Suspects

Friday, July 12, 10:50 p.m.Elijah Rizvan, 17, was shot and killed on Westford Lane Friday evening (July 12). The shooting took place in the road. Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were looking for suspects.

The shooting took place around 8:45 p.m. in the area of 7 Westford Lane.

According to the sheriff’s office, a neighborhood canvass is being conducted for evidence and any home video surveillance. Two suspects, believed to be black males wearing dark hoodies, fled in a silver vehicle, thought to be a sedan, with a spoiler. Deputies are actively searching for this vehicle.

Rizvan–whose name had initially been spelled with an “s” when the sheriff’s office disclosed the identity–had been a student at Flagler Palm Coast High School until October 2018, when he withdrew, according to a district spokesman.
He was identified as a white male in sheriff’s dispatch notes.

“This is the beginning stages of an apparent homicide investigation,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “During this active investigation, we ask that the public come forward with information that will help locate these suspects. If you saw or heard anything, we need to know about it.”

Early Saturday morning much of Westford Lane itself was still off limits, blocked off by yellow tape and a sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car at either end of the no-go zone. Neighbors nearby were going about their morning stroll, walking their dog, jogging, some of them plugged in more to their earbuds than the dissonant surroundings. Some gathered in small groups and talked.

One older woman, who lives at the corner of Westford and Westfield Lane, and who’s lived in Palm Coast for 30 years, had been alerted to the incident by the flashing emergency lights through her windows: her house has a direct view onto Westford Lane and the scene of the crime. Another woman said deputies examined surveillance video from her house and were able to determine what vehicles had driven by. The woman was under the impression that authorities had an idea who the suspects were, though until now the sheriff’s office has not said as much.

“Not that I’m aware of, no,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said around 8 this morning. The spokesperson said there’d been no updates through early morning.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the FCSO at 386-313-4911 in reference to Case Number 2019-65304. You may also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS where you could be eligible for a reward up to $5,000.

It is the fourth time in seven months that Palm Coast and Bunnell have been the scenes of a shooting with teen victims, and the second time that a shooting led to a fatality. In late December, an 18-year-old victim was shot in the stomach in a drive-by shooting on Bressler Lane in Palm Coast. A suspect was quickly arrested. On April 13, 18-year-old Curtis Gray, a student at Flagler Palm Coast High School, was shot and killed outside a smoke shop off Belle Terre Parkway. His alleged assailant turned himself in. Barely a week later, an 18-year-old was shot and wounded in the back during an argument outside of a Circle K in Bunnell.

Surrounding agencies are assisting in looking for the vehicle. “The street is blocked off because the crime scene is outdoors, so they have CSI, detectives and I’m sure the medical examiner out there,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said. “We don’t think the suspects are still in the area, but the only reason is because we don’t think they’d stick around, not because we know where they are. So we don’t think there’s like a madman on the loose: we do think it’s isolated, but we don’t know the relationship between the suspects and the victim.”

westford lane shooting

The scene on Westford Lane shortly after the shooting Friday night. (© FlaglerLive)

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92 Responses for “Benjamin Allen, 16, Arrested In Shooting of Elijah Rizvan Over a $125-Drug Deal”

  1. Alonzo Hudson says:

    Stiff gun control please.

  2. Gun control is not the answer says:

    Alonso gun control has nothing to do with it. We should make drugs illegal to…….o wait they are 🙄!

  3. CB from PC says:

    I am sure the Punks involved have a legally purchased gun and a valid carrying permit.
    You want an end to gun violence?
    Mandatory execution for first degree murder.
    Felon in possession of firearm, mandatory life in prison, no possibility of parole.
    Illegal possession of firearm by adult or minor, mandatory 5 year prison time. Etc. Etc.
    Let the law-abiding Citizens keep their CWP and weapons.
    It is the only protection we have against this.

  4. Well says:

    This is what happens when kids are “bored.” They turn to violence. Follow the statistics. When kids and young people have something to do, have people and things that motivate them, and encourage them, they are less likely to engage in criminal behavior. This town caters to the rich and old when it should skew more youthful. Perhaps then it would kill many birds with many stones that way.

  5. patrick delsordo says:

    this has NOTING to do with gun laws… it has to do with how parents RAISE their children. Chicago had the strictest gun laws in the country.. didnt help there. time for parents to be PARENTS again. these kids are raised on video games. and social media. i kno where my kids are 24 hrs a day. i stay involved in their lives. i know who they are hanging out with.. where they are. and what they are doing.. and offer a safe place for them to hang out. guns NO NOT kill people. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.. time to teach kids right from wrong.

  6. girl says:

    What’s going on around here… ???? Area is getting bad…? Don’t remember having these problems over the years.

  7. Rich H. says:

    Gun control is not the problem nor the solution!

  8. The Realist says:

    Really Alonzo?? “Stiff gun control please” my guns didn’t kill anybody last night or any other night so we can call them controlled. How about Stiff Animal Control Please. Start promptly sentencing and promptly executing these offenders and the message will be heard loud and clear. Problem with that is once death by gun numbers start going down the politicians have less footing to assault our 2nd Amendment rights.

  9. Peaches McGee says:

    @Alonzo – Criminals don’t follow the law. Do you actually believe they’ll follow gun laws?

  10. Just The Truth says:

    Sounds like PC has some high school gangs going on. I got bored sometimes as a kid but trust me shooting someone never crossed my mind because I was bored. My big question to this story is where are 17 yr old kids getting guns????????

  11. mark101 says:

    It gets pretty depressing when you watch the local news and see the daily shootings in Orlando and then these very same channels start including shooting in Flagler County. People talk of gun control, trouble is gun control can’t fix stupid.

  12. Palm Coaster says:

    It’s the responsibility of parents to involve their children in activities. Palm Coast has musical bands, martial arts, painting, theater, church activities and various sports for youth. What else do they need? The victim dropped out of school so it probably would’ve been hard to involve him in other structured activities. RIP gone too soon. Prayers to parents friends and family.

  13. Lnzc says:

    Too sad for the family
    People complain there is nothing to do in Palm Coast,there is plenty for them to do.Orlando has plenty of things and look at the crime there.
    No parents to care.
    God is left out of families

  14. Mary Fusco says:

    @ Well, good try. kids have been “bored” since the beginning of time. Yet, they did not run around with guns killing people. I’m quite sure there’s more to this story, but that’s for the news to report. My “kids” are all in their 40’s and raising kids of their own. They were constantly “bored”. When they turned 16, they got jobs, which instantly expended their energy and alleviated their boredom. Kids today, for the most part, have no need to work because everything is handed to them or the steal what they want. There’s plenty around for kids to do, but they may need parental involvement to get them there. Parental involvement is the key.

  15. 2-TimeWarVet says:

    Alonzo… feel free to submit yourself to your own gun control.
    But don’t ever call the cops if, God forbid, something terrible like this happens to you. You know, cause the cops have guns also.
    I will volunteer to build you own custom little snowflake safe space, so long as you never come out of it.
    We can fill it with your favorite books written by Obumma, Shillary and likely your favorite of all, that old, crusty commie Bernie.

  16. Trailer Bob says:

    Here we go with “gun control”. You do realize that the possession and use of a firearm IS controlled. But, imagine this, criminals do not abide by the laws. More teens and younger people die from auto accidents, but why consider the facts? Most of us abide by the laws, are gun owners, and only use them for sport and personal protection. How about giving some of these dirtbags the amount of time they should get in the beginning so that there IS a deterrent. Lod at the crime reports and the time given for very serious crimes in Flagler…it is a joke. And try to realize that these dirtbags with illegal guns are STEALING them in most cases. We need to vote in judges that understand the rates of recurring offenses by these law breakers and judges that actually understand criminals and the odds that a light sentence will do nothing.

  17. Man says says:

    Guns are not the problem get the facts on how many legally owners in Flagler the
    Then count the gun crimes you’ll get a better picture of the situation

  18. Layla says:

    Looks to me like we have a serious gang problem developing here. Parents, keep your children close.

  19. Steve says:

    Society glamorises the life style, behavior, Social media fuels it, too young to know any better. Voila, boredom has nothing to dowith it. Its all about choices. I.e. the choice to leave school.

  20. PC Reality says:

    I think the slow degradation of Palm Coast Society is due in part to the age of the community, In the beginning ITT days, they built thousands of homes all at once and a higher class of people moved into nice shiny new homes. Fast forward 30 years, and although many have kept theirs in nice condition, we are seeing a lot of those properties fall into decay from lack of upkeep and maintenance. As these houses start to look shabby, you get less rental money from them and you start to see an influx of lower class folks who can now afford to rent these homes in Palm coast, and with that movement you’re likely to get more incidents of crime and illegal drugs.

  21. 35 Year Palm Coast Citizen says:

    @ Well. Every kid gets bored! Every teenager gets bored! Every adult gets bored! Not everyone turns to shooting someone down in the street. Criminal behavior is not a side effect of boredom.

    It’s not the city’s responsibility to keep anyone entertained. That’s a personal choice. Watch a movie, play a game, build a fort, read a book. The list can go on and on. And none of it involves guns or violence. That’s a choice!

    It is, and always will be, a parenting responsibility. Get your kids off screens and video games that promote violence and takes all the reality out of death. Teach your kids coping skills and how to get along with others and how to work out differences without violence.

    Be a parent!! It’s a verb!!

  22. Charlie says:

    DRUGS & THUGS……………. Damn place has been taken over by these two diseases ! As a “normal” person, one can rightly understand why ever law biding Palm Coast citizen should have a firearm and learn how to safely use it if the time comes. Protect your family, protect yourself.

  23. Dave says:

    The youth in Palm Coast look to the leading adults in our community for roll models. So when our leaders are constantly fighting and bickering for more space to work and not getting along, city departments taking bribes, or when coaches are showcasing hate and division on the track field at Matanzas High, our youth pick up on the in fighting and disrespect towards the community and act out. The streets will always reflect those in office. When you turn your backs on a generation and treat a community the way this one is treated. It will turn bad.

  24. gmath55 says:

    What’s going on around here is population growth. More people hence probably of more problems. The City’s population is expected to double by the year 2035. It was peaceful back in 2003 when I first moved here from Daytona Beach.

    Palm Coast, Florida Population 2019.

    Maybe it is time to move?

  25. Maggie says:

    The gangs are really taking over palm coast. Most of the homes here are all rentals anymore just what the gangs and illegals like, easy to hide out.

  26. Max says:

    Well says: You couldn’t be more wrong! The rich and retired aren’t committing these crimes , dah! All the problems started when the younger crowd came in!

  27. Mariah Ippolito says:

    Rest easy baby brother, we’ll get justice for you babes💔😭

  28. Jim Bob says:

    Lots of armchair NRA sociologists active today.

  29. Shark says:

    And the sheriff says crime is down – who’s he kidding ??????

  30. Richard says:

    Alonzo, I have had a Glock sitting on my kitchen table for months on end now waiting for it to kill someone. It hasn’t moved one centimeter or even attempted to get up and run off to kill someone. Do you think stiffer gun control with change the situation with my Glock? Get real dude! Maybe you should be advocating for stiffer PEOPLE control as guns just don’t get up and go looking for someone to kill. PEOPLE DO!

  31. Constitutional Patriot says:

    Come on people. None of you know the reasons things like this happen or the solution. No one does as of yet only theories. We need to work together to figure this out. It’s not the fault of democrats or reasonable gun control advocates,most want a solution to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people. Gun control will never end criminal acts with firearms because criminals obviously don’t care about the law. You can’t take all of the guns from Americans without changing America into something it wasn’t intended to be by the founders. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem with the fact that gun manufacturers want to sell as many guns as possible as that is their profit motive and it doesn’t help and shouldn’t be ignored that Republicans attempt to insulate them from responsibility due to lobbyists and campaign donations.
    I don’t see how kids boredom is the reason or that video games, even violent combat games, are responsible. There are tens of millions of gamers who don’t become violent.
    I agree that parental involvement is an important part but it is not a guarantee. Kids from good homes with involved parents sometimes go bad.
    I would suggest that people stop being myopic and unmovable in your views and reach out to someone who you may not agree with and say “hey, how can we come together to figure this out with an open mind and stop our kids from dying or spending their lives in prison”.
    People please stop being so unmovable from your staked out political position and be part of team America not team Red vs blue. the founders would be ashamed of all of us at this point.

  32. Girl says:


  33. Yellowstone says:

    She should’ve had a carry license and had her ‘heat’ on her!

    “The only way to get rid of a bad guy with a gun – is with a good guy with a gun.” So they say . . .

    Palm Coast needs more guns.

  34. Xbadge says:

    Exactly…lame, non existent code enforcement, these homes around here look like the projects. AND these new homes being built right next to trash rental homes. Shady drug deals everyday, then come the gangs…yes, they ARE here, just look around when the next jerk goes speeding around you on Belle Terre at 65 mph…usually a hoodie drug runner car. It is bad everywhere, but sure noticing a big change in crappy, unkempt homes and a neediness growing here, that was NOT here even 5 years ago. Just my opinion, but all these shootings generally are over “turf” or drugs..feel bad for the family’s loss. It is gonna get worse, already has!! Sign of the times unfortunately.

  35. Just The Truth says:

    I feel instead of everyone pointing the blame, what would be refreshing especially for our devoted hard working FCSO how can we work together an resolve this problem?
    Don’t say it is because these kids are bored. Come on that is a lam excuse. They have an ocean at their back door, plenty of swimming pools, bike paths, come on there is plenty to do.
    How about them seeing an elderly owner that needs help. I did it as a kid cutting lawns, delivering newspapers and bought my first car with the money.
    These are children that have no direction or supervision that is the problem and sad to say it starts at home.

  36. FlaglerBear says:

    I haven’t posted anything on this forum for a long time, but as I read through the various theories, such as lack of gun control, overpopulation, boredom, proliferation of gangs; it occurred to me that all these problems are incidental. People aren’t really looking at the big picture. Obviously, your Sheriff and a handful of people know it. Perhaps the editor of this paper knows it, and certainly there’s a whole lot of kids growing up in this town that probably know it. And don’t get me wrong but it’s just a theory. There’s a dark underbelly to this community and it’s a cancer that’s growing little by little. The Sheriff probably doesn’t want people to know about it because it would terrify everyone. These shootings although seemingly isolated and random are really interconnected because what’s the common denominator? Drugs? Money? Power? Where is this starting? In our middle school and high schools. I bet if you ask any of the local kids, they will tell you exactly where all the drugs are being sold, who is selling them, and where guns can be obtained. Basically what’s happening here is a mini crime organization at play at the players are jockeying for position. How long will it be before an innocent person is caught in the crossfire? And these are kids folks! There’s other interesting bit of stuff called license plate reading technology being used here. You don’t typically see that in “small” towns. Why would you see that here? It’s expensive. Because, the Sheriff is smart. He knows the “problem” has progressed beyond the point where the organized crime aspect has the potential for attracting associates from other states and jurisdictions, many who have warrants. He’s thinking ahead. So, this power play should not be taken lightly. It’s not just about “gun control” or “boredom”. Unfortunately there’s too much money out there to be made in the drug trade and Flagler County is a haven for addiction. Sorry for rambling.

  37. Peaches McGee says:

    Sadly, based on his father’s comments, this is probably drug related.

  38. David S. says:

    gmath 55 I fully agree with you we will not be living here for long either. Palm Coast has headed in the wrong direction DOWN. More crime, no jobs, no pay,asshole drivers and more…..

  39. Worried says:

    It is truly disturbing that grown people believe control equals taking there guns. There was a time when felons could have guns but now they can’t. That’s a form of gun control. So all the morons that don’t want gun control should be arguing that felons should be allowed to have guns. The second amendment doesn’t bar them from guns your gun controlling government does. I guess you’ll are actually ok with gun control but to stupid to know it.

  40. Yourstrully says:

    Just came here to read these lovely enlightened comments!! My thoughts are with the victim’s family.

  41. ASF says:

    Gangs are claiming our children. It seems like this father was trying but the lure of gangs can be very strong. And once you are in, it’s hard to get out.

  42. Guns_dont_kill_people says:

    The people who use guns when they aren’t supposed to would just get an illegal firearm and do it anyways. These people are criminals. If we ban gun laws then we will still have shootings and burglaries, but we won’t be able to defend ourselves and they would take advantage and break into homes more frequently. If banning gun laws would stop violence altogether it would be done, but these people don’t care about breaking the law. They will continue to do so and no laws are going to stop them.

  43. palm coast person says:

    I can say i fully agree with your theory sir, PEOPLE DO KILL PEOPLE, and they will do so with or without guns, but, that being said, GUNS HELP TO KILL A LOT OF PEOPLE. what ever the reason for killing is not what im concerned about, thats someone else’s task, my concern is HOW someone kills another person. And GUNS are used quite often.

  44. Lynn says:

    This young man was someone’s son, brother, friend, or student. He is now dead and all those that were a part of his life are left to pick up the pieces. This is not something that any parent should have to deal with. In 90 days we have lost a second young man in our community. We should be angry, we should look for causes and solutions. We are the adults and we need to start acting like the adults/parents. The message that needs to be sent to our young people is that behavior like this is not acceptable. You as my child is not going to run the streets all hours of the night. If you act up in school there will be consequences at home. We as parents, grandparents, educators, community members, and churches need to step up and parent. Know who yours kids are hangout with. Volunteer at your child’s school or school events when you can. Don’t let video games and cell phones raise our kids. Before they leave our homes they need to answer The Who the what the when the why. God entrusted us to be parents not their friends. And if we don’t get our homes and schools in-order, we can just continue to add another name to the list. Prayers for our community, the families, the friends of Elijiah.

  45. Kevin says:

    I knew Eli. Me and him had plans as far as getting involved in a program that would’ve helped him and many more of the youth here in the community. I am a Marine Veteran and I am not legally allowed to own or purchase guns due to having a disability rating through the Veterans Affairs which caused me to have to have a fidicuary. Spit shine clean record. Honorably dishcharged but can’t have guns(even though me and all the other Jarheads can shoot from the 500 yard line..way better than most of the law enforcement roaming around half assing in these smaller towns) because I’m “incompetent of funds disbursement” so I had decided I was going to open up my free range gym with lots of punching bags mainly and perhaps a riny to spar in. And I was also going to teach classes specifically for the younger kids out here and lets say first time offenders with classes which I was going to call “situation at hand” and “situation diffusion” classes. Even though my whole program would be from a no guns point of view, it would also be something valuable for the person behind the gun to know and undertand. Eli was a great boy with lots of potential. He had told me he wanted me to take him under my wings and teach him some life skills. Unfortunately I didn’t know him too long before he passed away. He had told me he had dreams of enlisting in the Marines one day after he got his G.E.D with 15 college credits. I had told him I would help him every step of the way there until the day I see him graduating Parris Island. When my program and gym is created it will be in honor of Eli. He told me I was like a brother. He was ny brother. Rest in peace Eli

  46. palmcoaster says:

    Nobody wants to take the guns from the hands of responsible law abiding citizens. The guns control laws we want are so guns do not end up in the wrong hands like in cases like this.
    I also agree that blight in our neighborhoods by so many semi-vacant, vacant or low rent occupied houses given the erosion of value due to lack of maintenance and other city ordinance violations that includes housing squatters or subletting to multiple drug addicted individuals or dealers goes hand on hand with these crimes.
    We have and excellent sheriff and investigators now that are really fighting the drug epidemic and related crimes and we need to support them by us all if “see something say something” by calling 437-4116 or 1800277TIPS crime stoppers of north Florida, before is too late and a life is lost. We the community are the eyes and ears of our own quality of life and safety work with our law enforcement and we may have a chance to win the war or drugs in Palm Coast. I know works as did it in our blocks.
    Also I would insist to our city Mayor, Council and Manager Mr. Morton to improve those areas of obvious blight in old Palm Coast that as the mayor correctly said ” they don’t look nothing like the rest of Palm Coast” like in parts of F section will erase blight some landscape improvement along the sidewalk of Florida Park Drive and at least one garbage receptacle by the only bench in two miles as has none. Also strict ordinance violation enforcement in neglected houses mostly rentals as well.

  47. palmcoaster says:

    Also talk to our sheriff and get a Neighborhood Watch program in your community if you do not have one yet.
    I lived all my long life without guns and I am still kicking because that is why I pay taxes for my law enforcement and army to protect me and so far has worked for me. Trust our law enforcement they are here to serve us And please stop the BS with all the political rhetoric and blame because we all have to unite to resolve this crisis.

  48. Alonzo Hudson says:

    Two time war vet. Build your own snowflake house. Invite Trump to live in it with you. I know cops have guns, that is why do many African American men are dead today. A lot of cops shoot unarmed people and get away with it. They used to say I feared for my life I thought he had a gun. The cops just shoot people out of unknown fear and get away with murder most of the time. I guess African Americans are not suppose to fear for their lives, just become target practice for the cops. Last time I checked, we still have schools in the area. Please attend one so you can learn how to spell.

  49. Born and Raised Here says:

    Parents need to be involved in everything their kids are doing. Why didn’t the Dad check the boys cell phone, and see the text his son was sending out and receiving.

  50. gmath55 says:

    Why are we using race and politics in our comment? That doesn’t prove anything. You want the truth? Why, if black Americans commit more violent crimes, are more whites killed by police?

    Moskos suggests two reasons. First, police assigned to largely black communities face “more political fallout when they shoot, and thus receive better training and are less inclined to shoot.” Secondly, officers assigned to black neighborhoods are more accustomed to dangerous situation and thus more likely to attempt to find a non-lethal solution.

  51. Steve says:

    Another gangsta wanna be Soldjah in Prison for murder. What a way to spend your time. Taking the life of another juvenile for what. SMH
    Have a nice stay

  52. Again says:

    Wow sounds like the “gangster gunman” had a tough life growing up in the tidelands on the intracoastal! What a pathetic joke! The kids in this city need to realize this isn’t the place for this shit ! Grow up and stop pretending to be something you’re not ! Posers !

  53. hawkeye says:

    how could this have happened? We have laws that say 16 year olds cant own handguns,I guess this kid didnt have to obey the law? Isnt drug dealing against the law as well? The reason I carry a handgun and train on a weekly basis is because of people like the criminals involved in this story. Good job Sherriff Staly and other law enforcement and citizens and witnesses who got involved!!

  54. Mary Fusco says:

    I figured as much. 2 “kids” involved in a drug deal, one winds up dead.. People need to take their damn heads out of the sand. Parents need to get involved with their kids and what they are doing. Palm Coast is becoming a regular ghetto. An innocent person could have been caught in this crossfire and been killed. Two families are devastated but this will go on and on.

    As far as gun control is concerned, where the heck did a 16 YO get one, He certainly did not go into a gun store and purchase it. What’s left is that his parents owned it or it was stolen. This is just one of our future “lifers”.

  55. Dave says:

    Legalize Marijuana for SAFE ACCESS! Why should anyone have to go threw such a dangerous situation dealing with such a simply obtainable plant? I blame this on state and local laws criminalizing anyone who obtains it. Also why are guns so easy to access compared to Marijuana? We need stricter gun laws. It should be harder for kids to obtain guns than a simple medicine. I truely don’t believe this is over a qp of weed but whatever.

  56. Enforcer says:

    Gun laws REALLY how would that have helped ? a 16 year old cant buy a GUN or AMMO How about we blame the parents after all they raised the little want to be gangster or even better lets blame the little thug they raised
    Did he know when he pulled the trigger that anything in front of him could be destroyed ? (YES)
    Did he know that he could go to jail (YES)
    Did he know that he shouldn’t be dealing drugs (YES)
    Did he care that he was going to take a life (NO)
    Did he care that he could have killed an innocent bystander (NO)
    We as a society need to put the blame where it deserves to be on the thug and his parents because that’s why it happened !!!!!

  57. ASF says:

    I would love to see the parents of Palm Coast come together and form their own support group and organization(s) that specifically focus on dealing with effective ways to combat the growing influence of gangs. The pervasive lure of substances and the quick buck that can made by getting involved in the trafficking of drugs is an unfortunate reality that must be faced. The police, the schools, the Justice System and Mental health and Addiction services (both sorely lacking in this town) all have important parts to play–but the issue often begins at home and it must be dealt with at that level–the earlier, the better.

  58. Concerned Citizen says:

    I am sorry that another senseless killing has taken place. It’s happening way to often these days. Something needs to be done but what? Where do we start?

    Once again we have a major incident involving social media. These kids are on social media most of the day and are subject to all sorts of videos and posts. Does this desensitize them to the point that they have no regard to human life? And what about some of these games out there now.? It would be interesting to see if psychological studies showed a coorelation.

    Everyone harps on gun control. While I think something needs to be done it’s not the save all answer. Some countries are very strict on gun control and still have violent crimes. Likewise blaming the parents. I’m sure most parents do the best they can. Yet their kids are in school most of the day and surrounded by their piers.

    At the end of the day these young adults are just that. They know right from wrong. And they know that what they did in this case was deliberate and intentional. I hope that our justice system does the right thing and sentences accordingly. All involved in this case should be held to some level of accotability. Including the girlfriend who removed weed from her boyfriends pocket.

    @ Richard

    I am a prior law enforcement officer and military vet with over seas tours. I own fire arms and live alone in a rural setting. Both weapons are secured properly in safes. I don’t quite understand why you feel the need to leave a loaded fire arm in plain view on a kitchen table.That just opens you up for all sorts of bad things to happen. Especially if it’s stolen.

    @ 2-TimeWarVet

    I thank you for your service but was the rant on Alonzo about snowflake and political figures really neccessary? Everyone is entitled to an opinion but we are quick to insult these days. Especially when we don’t know the other persons background..

  59. 2-TimeWarVet says:

    Poor Alonzo… so confused, and likely racist. No one mentioned Trump in my note. I sense some racism on your part for your assumption. You should seek professional help for that.
    And blaming cops for AA deaths… really? You don’t want to start with the culture? Rap lyrics? The “get yours mentality” that is pushed through this culture? What about the parents? What about family and extended family? What about the child (RIP.)
    You, and many others, want to blame everyone on planet earth except those closest to responsibility. Surely it has to be someone else’s fault, right? Maybe it’s my fault… Maybe it’s yours.. but there is no way possible the family or victim is to blame, right?
    We can all tell you have no point or actual facts… because you have to talk about spelling? Really? You gotta get some help…

  60. Anonymous says:

    Maybe its about time to legalize marijuana in Florida altogether? Don’t you people see that by legalizing it we will be on track with the times and would be reversing so many injustices that the war on a plant has caused. Marijuana criminalization goes back to the Jim Crow law days. Don’t you see that these kids in palm Coast have absolutely nothing to do so they seek thrills where they can and yes I guess to them the thrill was marijuana. Why can’t we all live and let live? All because certain prominent white men deem it illegal it shouldn’t be. It’s all big pharma who is solely responsible for the recent opioid pill epidemic in my home town of palm coast. I’m forever grateful for leaving this place that has claimed so many young lives and talents. My advise to you young citizens of palm coast who still have a future ahead of you. GET THE HELL OUT OF PALM COAST. This city doesn’t give a shit about its young population. All they care about is appearances which now are not even holding up. How about you didn’t invest money in the future???? The young people??? Instead you sold out and catered to the old and rich and influential. Has anyone ever seen any programs in the city to help keep these troubled kids off of the streets?? Has anyone ever even seen a D.A.R.E. truck anywhere in Palm Coast. I really feel for your friend Kevin and kudos to trying to help the young of PC. I too am a Veteran who left PC when drugs started flowing in. Good thing I did. I urge you all young people to leave and seek a life elsewhere. Cause PC has been sold off to the prominent influential white elite who could care less about anybody except themselves. This town is the absolute worst and recollecting on how they treat their Veterans and minorities I am only sorry to have ever set foot in this town to begin with. Do your research and you’ll also find out that Flagler County is one of the most ingrained in racism and discrimination. It also still has active KKK clans.

  61. Concerned Citizens says:

    @Lnzc you are so right. Where is God. These kids and parents need to learn more about God and read their Bible.
    One of the Ten Commandments..Thy Shall Not Kill.
    They disobeying that order and allowing Satan to take control of their minds, over Drugs and Money…

  62. Just The Truth says:

    Great life for these punks, was it really worth it? Think about your future and this isn’t the answer. Very curious where they got the guns?

  63. Cassidy says:

    It’s hard to be enjoying your day then get texts messages saying something happened to your brother , he was a great person and had an amazing heart. He had the brightest smile you would ever see any room he would walk into he’d light up. It still hasn’t hit me he’s really gone. Everyday i wake up feeling off I just can’t come to terms my brother is really gone. LLE 💙

  64. Charles "Bub" Robson says:

    Good job, FCSO. The gang problem in PC must be immediately addressed. The quiet Flagler County is no more. FCSO needs to put the gangs out of business. A well organized street crime unit is needed to harass the bad guys and put them out of business. Every time a thug commits a traffic violation, an infraction, a low level crime or a felony, its cuff & stuff time and the thugs will find out Flagler County is not the place to caper. Go get em FCSO

  65. Shoregal says:

    FCSO worked quickly and smartly to find resolution to this tragedy, time for the slow wheels
    Of justice to turn. I’m sure there will be deals handed out and eventually be back out in society.

  66. Fact believer says:

    You are reading a story that is only partially true. The parents should be involved!?! They were and Eli was at his g-friends house who lives with her gma. They raised him to know right from wrong and would’ve given him the world if they could. He had to follow rules though and if he chose not to, oh well, he has rights himself. Your judging only off of what your reading and if you used your senses that was given to you, stories are just that a story. It’s meant to drag you in and make you read it. I personally knew Eli and there were 2 sides to him. I don’t agree about the gun control. I don’t own one but know many ppl who do and can get my hands on one at any time. If you meet these babies out on the streets you would love them and not be afraid. They are kids who know right from wrong and no one can say what’s going through their minds when things like this happen. There are a lot of ppl that I can point the finger at that caused this. It won’t change anything though!! Then you talk about pot, or being a thug. Pot has been a big thing since the 70’s. I did it when I was 16 and chose to nvr do it again. You can deny it but I would bet most who are commenting about it has also tried it at least once. At the end of the day it was prob a sweet kid who took the life of another sweet kid and now he has to prob spend the rest of his life in jail playing that moment back. These parents of both families don’t need to read these neg comments!!! Unless you know or knew them first hand you have no idea the back stories to them. Like what if they had an illness.

  67. ConstantlyAmazed says:

    The whole story screamed “DRUG DEAL GONE BAD FROM THE GET GO”

    Sorry, have no sympathy for either of them. Good riddance.

  68. Outside Looking Out says:

    Something smells fishy to me. If they went through the trouble of grabbing and shooting him, why didn’t they get the dope they came after?

  69. C’mon man says:

    Alonzo, neither the police, or trump had anything to do with this incident. You can try to bring it up but that’s irrelevant and ignorant to say in this case. What we know is a two young black men, and their families are changed forever. I respect you opinion on gun control laws but let’s get serious for a second. Laws are broken all the time and criminals who plan to rob and shoot people simply don’t care about them.

  70. wow says:

    How very sad that a 16 year old kid would screw up his life forever for such stupid things. So many lives ruined.

  71. Duke says:

    Top kek, Alonzo. It’s already illegal for a 16 year old to possess a handgun. Oh, and it’s illegal to murder people also.

  72. Traveling Rep says:

    If Obama had a son…he’d look like Benjamin!

    Discipline was not a part of this guys life, and now his life is effectively over. I can only hope his peers desire more than this murderer.

  73. Kathryn A Lawler says:

    Terrible News..Every facet.! parents,relatives,siblings,friends are greatly!!!! impacted and affected. Kids.!! with Guns and Drugs most always equals death,destruction,devastation to any community.

  74. Friend says:

    Mary you say “An innocent person could have been caught in this crossfire and been killed.” Eli was killed he was my friend and a classmate for years, he was an innocent who got killed, sure he made mistakes but everyone does and that does not give anyone the right to take another’s life it was just over pot for Christ’s sake he didn’t deserve to die.

  75. Concerned says:

    This entire situation is sad for everyone involved. These are our children running around thinking they have right to take and/or jeopardize other people lives. When I was a kid the saying was it “took a village to raise a child” now a days everyone is pointing fingers at the parents. I don’t fully agree. Times are different! Our homes are no longer a working father and a stay at home mother. Most of us are single parents working 2 jobs to make ends meet, and some of us aren’t lucky enough to even have someone around to help co-parent. We try to give our children the right tools to make good decisions in life and sometimes they get lost. My question is what is out there for these children that are lost, maybe missing the proper guidance? A father, a mother? Boys and girls club? Big brother, Big sister? Mentors? Let’s be honest it’s even difficult to find in our school systems.

  76. Tim B says:

    Why would Benjamin value the potential proceeds of a robbery over another humans life? Only Benjamin knows why he felt that way. Without that answer we are only guessing at what will work to stop these tragic deaths.

  77. Willy Boy says:

    Nice work by the Sheriff’s Dept. As a W-Section resident, we’ve been looking at gated-communities for a safer haven. Tidelands and Island Estates are both gated, so that theory is waning.

  78. Silent Majority says:

    A kid is dead and a lot of comments on here as usual seem to be self-serving rhetoric. Those who blame the fact that they’re rentals here obviously don’t understand socioeconomics or are living in a fantasy land. Rent isn’t cheap, and the kids here need more people to get invovled. Many on here more than likely haven’t contributed to helping the youth in the area but are the first to complain. This sad incident invovled people who aren’t even old enough to sign legal contracts nor legally buy weapons, so obviously there’s a bigger issue that needs to be addressed here. Palm Coast is no more different than other places in this country. The same rules of common sense applies, watch you children, be invovled, and stop living in your own little worlds.

  79. Palmcoaster says:

    Thank you all that contributed in the community that helped and our sheriff investigators for catching the suspects.

  80. Squeakyff says:

    All of this stupid talk about gun control what a joke, what about Judge Control. If I’m not mistaken this kid was arrested for killing that kid at the laundry mat, what the hell was he doing back out on the street in the first place. This all comes down to the over paid judges that think they are god, they are the ones to be held accountable for this. The cops do their job for the judges to smack the criminals hands and put them back out on the street. Maybe instead of putting innocent people in prison they should take care of people like this, and maybe the streets would be safer.

  81. Michael Cocchiola says:

    Good work by the sheriff’s department. So now we have to deal with a 16-year-old alleged murderer. Hard to fathom.

  82. The Realist says:

    Try him as an adult and if found guilty promptly put that animal down. Send the message that needs to be sent to any future POS that want to kill.

  83. gmath55 says:

    @ Squeakyff – You are mistaken. Curtis Gray, 18, a Flagler Palm Coast High School senior, was shot and killed outside a smoke shop and coin laundry off Belle Terre Parkway at 12:36 this morning, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said.

    Flagler County Sheriff’s Office identified 17-year-old Marion Leo Gavins Jr., last of Woodlyn Lane in Palm Coast, as the suspect in the shooting death of Curtis Gray, 18, earlier today.

  84. steve says:

    one more time. Nothing, I mean nothing to do with boredom, the Town place whatever. Its choices. He chose to live his life this way. I grew up in a Town of 5000 and there was plenty of constructive hobbies to be involved with. The bleeding hearts here are misinformed to what causes these terrible events. Blame it on the reality of Society not “nuttin to do”SMH

  85. Mary Fusco says:

    @ Silent Majority, kids need their parents to be involved with them, know what they are doing, what they are thinking, having dinner with them. Kids are no one else’s responsibility except their parents. We raised 4 children, all college graduates, and we busted our arses doing it. We have 5 grandchildren and their parents are busting their arses to see that their children are on the straight and narrow. The bottom line is TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF!

  86. Michael Cocchiola says:

    According to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization committed to reducing gun violence in America, more than 3,000 kids and teenagers are shot and killed on average in the U.S. each year, and 15,000 more are injured. That means 51 kids a day are injured — or killed — by a firearm.

    A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds that kids who live in states with strict gun laws are 35 less likely to die from gun violence.

    O.k., gun proponents… show me your study that says more guns leads to less violence. Dare ya!

  87. 58piglets says:

    It amazes me that I raised 2 children in this town and they managed to stay away from drugs and out of trouble! Everyone is so quick to blame someone else. It starts in the home, plain and simple. Legalizing Marijuana is not the answer…so what you’ve legalized it, they still need money to buy it, how do they pay for it??? Oh yeah steal from someone, because God forbid they go out and get a job! There you go, I said it get a fricken job! If all of these lazy, trouble starting juveniles and many adults as well, got off their butts and got a job maybe there would be less crime in this county. Lets not forget you choose to do drugs, nobody forces you to do them.
    Now as far as the LPR’s, I’m glad we’ve got them, without them, the innocent people who are the victims of these criminals might never be caught.
    Yes there is lots of crime and drugs, the Sheriff’s office does EVERYTHING within it’s power to catch who they can. We need stiffer laws and maximum sentences for these people maybe they will think twice about committing a crime here.
    For all of you “GUN CONTROL” criers out there, hope you never need to be protected.

  88. Mark says:

    Lower the price of drugs and all this will be solved.

  89. This was tragic says:

    These kids thought about what they were doing they held down a kid defensively and toke his life. This has nothing to do with a drug deal. They didn’t take anything but the boys life. He didn’t deserve to die like this. No one does someone needs to start helping these kids not turn against them

  90. Mary Fusco says:

    @ concerned, give me a break. The “Village” did not have your child, you did so therefore, you, and you alone, are responsible for him or her. These women that are running around having kids with every “tom, Dick and Harry” are in the wrong. To me a “single mother” is a woman whose husband has died or who is divorced. If you cannot afford to take care of a child, do not have one. I had 4 kids. My husband (crazy word huh?) worked and I stayed at home. My children were not rich but did NOT run around killing people, stealing, etc. When they were old enough, I went back to work. They are all college graduates, raising families of their own. It is a back breaking job. Don’t take it on if you think that the “village” should be doing your dirty work. It ain’t going to happen.

  91. Mary Fusco says:

    @ Silent Majority. I raised my own 4 kids. Put them through college. Worked 2 jobs for 8 years and my hubby worked all the overtime he could get. I’m not responsible for other people’s kids. If 2 people lay down and produce a baby, they, and they alone are responsible for it until it is 18. Bottom line is that people need to stop having kids they cannot take care of. They are NOT the government nor the community’s responsibility. It’s time for people to take responsibility for their actions. Enough is enough of this crying and whining. It gets very old!

  92. Mark says:


    It’s okay to ramble, maybe an idea to help the problem will pop up. That being said, the schools? I think not. Since when are the schools responsible for babysitting these children? Where are the parents? Maybe the parents should be held to some responsibility in these matters. My kids are all over 30 and we (me & my wife) are still in their lives. No problems yet, thank God. Bored, read a book, clean the house, play ball, write a thank you note, get a job……….; just remember, we will be watching. I still have Mr Blue (the ass wacker) on the fridge. The grandkids know all about it and I have never had to use it on them, but they know it’s there. Kids need attention, attention, attention. No parent involved in their life, chances are that in today’s world, there will be trouble. So, how do we get the parents involved? By holding them accountable, not the government, not the politicians, the parents. Schools are overwhelmed with babysitting instead of teaching unfortunately. Teachers are underpaid, overburdened with regulations and mismanagement. Teachers should not be social workers, babysitters or substitute parents. Parents should be parents.

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