Teens arrested for shooting of five other teens at Gainesville American Legion hall

GAINESVILLE, FL – Five teens were shot at a party being held at the Gainesville American Legion Hall, police have reported.

On Thursday, June 24th, the Gainesville Police Department responded to a mass shooting at the American Legion Hall in Gainesville. GPD’s investigation revealed that several juveniles had been shot and that the suspects had stolen a car and fled the scene.

Deputies with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office located the stolen vehicle at the 9000 block of West Newberry Road and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the suspects fled and a pursuit was initiated.

Deputies deployed stop sticks during the pursuit, and were able to deflate one of the front tires. The vehicle pursuit ended at the entrance to Cabana Beach Apartments where the suspects then fled on foot.

Deputies were able to apprehend the driver, who was identified as 14-year old Jakarean Ford. The passenger, 17-year old Javari Baptiste, fled into the complex but was also taken into custody after the establishment of a perimeter and assistance from K-9 and the Aviation Unit.

Deputies also recovered a stolen 9mm handgun and ski mask used in the shooting. Both Baptiste and Ford were taken to the Gainesville Police Department for questioning before being transported to the Juvenile Detention Center. Baptiste was charged with attempted murder by the Gainesville Police Department and Possession of a Stolen Firearm and Resisting without Violence by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

Ford was charged with Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement, Operating a Motor Vehicle without a Driver License and felony Possession of Marijuana.

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