The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office today released video footage from a surveillance camera outside the Circle K on State Road 100 in Bunnell where an 18-year-old man was shot Sunday night.
Bunnell police asked the sheriff’s office to investigate the shooting, which took place as a large “Easter in Bunnell” event designed to benefit children had unfolded during the day, bringing people out in throngs in Bunnell’s downtown area. “In a community that is enriched with values of family and socializing, we want to provide this atmosphere and experience for just over 250 needy children and families,” a fund-raising page for the Easter in Bunnell event stated.
The peacefulness of the day was shattered at 8:14 p.m. when a man in his late teens or early 20s shot the 18 year old in the back after a scuffle outside the Circle K. The sheriff’s office has some ideas about the identity of the shooter but is still trying to confirm it.
“In regards to trying to identify the suspect in this case, we are releasing the surveillance footage from the shooting,” the sheriff’s Brittany Kershaw said in an email disseminated to local media late this morning. “In the video you will see the suspect walk out of the business (black shirt, white hat), get involved in an physical altercation, get up from the altercation and begin firing. His hat falls off during the altercation. He walks out of camera view and then reemerges.”
The altercation the man walks into appears to involve three women, one of whom grabs another from behind as a third takes a fighting stance next to them, and next to the alleged shooter. The shooter at that point is not involved in the scuffle. The two women fall as several others approach. A man in a white tank-top and green shorts appears to grab the alleged shooter from behind. They fall.
It’s not continuous video, but rather successive photographic frames taken at one-second intervals and collated into the appearance of a video, which means that crucial lapses occur between each frame.
A woman to the side is actually taking video of the scene with her phone at one point. Others stand by, including an older man who’d been crouched a few feet from the entrance top the business the whole time, uninvolved.
“The detectives have identified nearly every single person in that video and have conducted multiple interviews,” Kershaw said. “I don’t know specifically if that gentleman was interviewed.” And cell phone footage has been recovered, possibly that of the woman who was near the action: “We do have video cell phone footage of the whole altercation, so I’m assuming it’s that one but it could be others also.”
In the Circle K video, the fight continues, involving the two men and one or two women, mostly on the ground, until suddenly a frame shows two of the women who’d been involved in the scuffle spring out and away from the commotion, while others who’d been watching are also turning away, signaling either the detection of a gun or that shots had been fired.
The man in the white tank top jumps up and runs out of view as the alleged shooter brandishes a gun in his direction and appears to be shooting, then chasing after him. Remarkably, a tall woman, seemingly unfazed by the commotion, is walking at a slow pace, her arms crossed, watching the shooter and the rest of the scene. The next frame show almost all who’d gathered to have scattered, except for the older man at the entrance, still crouched and concentrating on the action like a baseball umpire at home plate: as a witness, he’d be key if detectives have identified him.
Moments later a woman and a man, possibly two men, are seen running through the scene, a man in a white shirt rushing into the Circle K two seconds before the shooter reappears, walks near the door and back out into the parking lot, his right hand holding what appears to be a gun. He turns around and walks out of the frame–the older man watching all the while.
There were at least four shots. Soon afterward, there ere reports of another shooting at nearby Edward Johnson Park, the large city field that stretches between South Anderson Street and South Pine Street.
And a firearm was recovered near the Circle K. “It is potentially the weapon that was used in the shooting but that has not been confirmed,” Kirshaw said.
See the full video:
The victim is expected to make a full recovery. But the sheriff’s office is not releasing his name. “The reason the victim’s identity is not being released is because there’s a fear of retaliation against the family,” Kershaw said. “I think after the Gray homicide and the threat of retaliation, they don’t want to release the victim’s identity until the suspect is identified. This is what I was told by the detectives.” Eight days before the Sunday shooting in Bunnell, 18-year-old Curtis Gray, a student at Flagler Palm Coast High School, was shot and killed in an altercation in a shopping strip parking lot in Palm Coast. The shooter, Marion Gavins Jr., was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. But detectives had been concerned about social media chatter suggesting possible retaliation.
Many people at the scene of Sunday’s shooting had referred to the shooter by a certain name. “Detectives believe that name is not the name of the suspect,” Kershaw said. “They do have numerous tips that they are actively following up on to determine if they can identify the suspect, so the community is doing what we’ve asked, they are providing information. We hope to have the suspect identified very soon. We don’t believe he’s local to Flagler County.”
Stacer Smith, an organizer of the Easter in Bunnell event, posted a video on his Facebook account on Monday morning: “Sorry for the small thing that happened but don’t forget about the big things that happened,” he said, “the big things that we were able to give back to the kids, we were able to see kids with a smile on their face, and we were able to bring our community together to have a great and amazing day.”
The Sheriff’s office reiterated its call for assistance: Anyone with information on this incident call FCSO at 386-313-4911 or email [email protected]. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $5,000.00 for information leading to an arrest. Their number is 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).