The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office today confirmed what it had not for several days after the Dec. 29 shooting that left a man dead and another wounded at 8 Regent Lane in Palm Coast: that the man who was killed was 23-year-old Zaire Roberts, who had been released from prison just weeks earlier. (See: “Two Men Are Shot in Confrontation on Regent Lane in Palm Coast, One of Them Just Out of Prison.”)
The agency released a heavily redacted incident report about the incident, which took place a little after 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 29. The 911 dispatch center got a call from a man who said he was shot and robbed. Law enforcement initially responded to what was believed to be a home invasion. It did not appear to be that when deputies arrived at the house, finding Roberts dead of a gunshot to the chest and the other man, Daniel M., lying by the threshold of his bedroom door with a gunshot to his side and one to his leg. His father was in the house at the time. The wounded man told deputies he’d gone to Daytona Beach earlier and picked up a stripper.
Deputies who responded found several shell casings in the house and bullet marks on walls and in the ceiling, and a shell casing outside the front door.
Others were involved: neighbors reported seeing individuals running out of the house and driving off. Deputies launched a search by land and air. The incident report refers to at least three locations with video of “evidentiary value.”
Roberts, also known as Deuce at the time, was 16 when he shot Phillip Haire twice in the abdomen on July 28, 2015, on Lewisdale Lane in Palm Coast, after Haire had gone to Lewisdale to fight Roberts and a man called Travis, according to what Haire told deputies from his hospital bed in the aftermath of the shooting. Haire told deputies that days before the shooting, he’d been at a party in the R Section to settle some matters with Travis, and was shot at by Roberts, but not hit. “God saved you cause that big jammed,” Zaire later tweeted Haire, along with the emoji of a crying face, according to Roberts’s arrest report. Roberts was initially charged with attempted first degree murder. The charge was downgraded to aggravated battery with a firearm. The case resulted in a plea. At his Roberts’s sentencing, Haire appealed to the judge for mercy on his shooter’s behalf. Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman sentenced him to seven years in prison. He was released on Sept. 20, and was to be living in Hapville, Ga. The incident report lists his address as Pine Hill Lane in Palm Coast–the same address as when he’d been arrested in 2015.
Much remains murky about the circumstances of the Dec. 29 shooting, and those involved.
“We have already received several helpful tips from the community over the holiday weekend,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a release issued today. “We want to reiterate that there is currently a $5,000 reward through CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida for information leading to an arrest. We want to thank the community for their ongoing support and to encourage anyone else with information about this shooting to come forward. These cases can be complicated and take time to solve, but the information and evidence we have received indicates that we are on the right track and that we will successfully resolve this case.”
Anyone with information may contact CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be sent directly to the Sheriff’s Office at [email protected] Case agent Detective Sarah Scalia can be reached at [email protected], at (386) 586-4808, or (386) 313-4911.