Gaines L. Smith Jr., a 23-year-old on probation wanted since an April 17 shooting spree in Bunnell, was booked this morning at the Flagler County jail on four charges and $110,000 bond following his extradition from Volusia County, where he’d been incarcerated since April 23.
Smith, a resident of 91 Lincoln Avenue in Bunnell, faces two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm in public, plus a probation violation. He was on probation until December 2022 after his plea to a 2018 felony drug charge, when his adjudication as a felon was withheld. Even so, his probation status forbade him from carrying firearms or other weapons.
The April 17 incident took place in midafternoon, when two Palm Coast women, ages 35 and 44, reported to police that Smith had allegedly threatened them and fired his gun in the area of East Martin Luther King Avenue and South Moore Street in Bunnell. Children were near the women. Fagler County’s 911 center had received several calls about the shooting, with reports that “several subjects were still actively shooting in the area,” according to Smith’s arrest report.
The 44-year-old woman told Bunnell police and Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies that she had been standing in at East MLK Ave., some 50 feet west of South Anderson Street, when she saw Smith at the intersection of East MLK and S. Moore, where he began “talking trash.” She said he lifted the front of his shirt, revealing the butt stock of a rifle, then pulled the rifle up and out of his pants. When she made eye contact with him, he allegedly began firing at her and a group of people she was standing with. There were four other men with Gaines: some of them, too, were firing weapons, she said, naming them all. (None of them has been arrested.)
The woman said she focused on Gaines shooting but heard other firearms being discharged in her direction, and was unable to describe the weaponry. All five men then ran north on South Moore Street while continuing to fire their guns.
The 35-year-old woman described how she stood near the other woman when she saw “about six guys come out at the stop sign of Moore Street.” Someone yelled something, causing her to turn around in time to see Smith, whom she knew personally, “pull out a black big gun and open fire.” The woman said her children were standing with her at the time. No one was injured. Gaines then took flight on foot towards South Moore Street, continuing to fire his gun.
Police found one bronze and one silver spent 9mm shell casing in the 400 block of South Moore Street, 100 feet north of East MLK, and an unspent shell casing. Several bullet holes were located on the plastic siding of the Flagler County Housing Authority Office at 414 South Bacher Street.
“Multiple law enforcement officers canvassed the area for suspects, victims, and evidence,” the arrest report states. None were located at the time. “Multiple other persons who were on scene and stated they witnessed the shooting did not wish [to] complete sworn statements. Several other subjects who were on scene stated they heard approximately 20 to 30 gunshots but did not see the shooting occur. According to numerous persons on scene, there were several children and other persons in the immediate area, that fled for their safety when the shooting occurred.”