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Gainesville man arrested in murder of woman and her baby

Kivi Jacquis Ellis

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Kivi Jacquis Ellis, 26, was arrested last night after officers responding to reports of a shooting found him in the road with a gun, still shooting.

At 4:51 p.m. yesterday, a call was received regarding a shooting on the 2900 block of NE 17th Drive. When Gainesville Police Department officers arrived, they found the shooter still in the road.

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According to the arrest report, witnesses reported seeing the suspect firing “numerous gun shots” at an adult female victim in the front yard of the residence they shared with 3 children, aged 5 years, 3 years, and 3 months old. The adult female victim was holding the infant in her arms at the time of the shooting. After being shot, she fell to the ground, and Ellis allegedly continued to shoot her. During the shooting, the infant was fatally shot in the head.

The suspect allegedly picked up the infant and walked to the back yard, where he “discarded the child’s body near a dog kennel.” Witnesses reported that Ellis then went back to the front yard and resumed firing at the adult female victim.

Ellis reportedly began walking down the street, where he fired at a third victim, who was not injured. Officers arrived at this point and observed Ellis’s attempt to shoot the third victim. They also observed Ellis dropping a firearm, and he was then taken into custody. The firearm and several shell casings were recovered from the scene. Ellis has been charged with 2 counts of premeditated homicide and one count of attempted premeditated homicide.

Lifesaving efforts were made at the scene, but both the adult female and the infant were pronounced deceased. The two older children were found hiding under a bed in the residence and were present during the incident.

Ellis made several spontaneous statements to officers, including saying he was sorry and that he had “killed them both.”

Ellis was previously arrested in 2014 for Aggravated Battery (Dating Violence) against the female adult victim; during that incident, she sustained several injuries, including a lacerated liver, a fractured rib, several bruises, lacerations, and swelling to the face, arms, legs, and torso. Ellis pleaded nolo contendere, adjudication was withheld, and Ellis agreed to a year of community control and 4 years of probation in June 2015.

In October 2015, his probation officer reported that he had violated the conditions of community control by leaving his residence without permission, and Ellis was arrested again and held without bond. He entered into another plea agreement for 91 days of jail time with credit for 30 days time served and a reinstatement of the terms of his previous plea agreement.

In December 2016, his probation officer reported that he had violated a condition of his probation by using or possessing alcohol or narcotics. He again entered into a plea agreement to undergo evaluation for substance abuse and reinstate the conditions of the previous agreement.

2 days after the agreement was finalized, his probation officer again reported that he had violated his probation by using or possessing alcohol or narcotics. That violation was dismissed, but Ellis was ordered to enter an inpatient drug treatment facility.

In February 2018, a drug test showed that Ellis had used marijuana and cocaine. He was again ordered into treatment. He successfully completed the program in March 2019. Ellis requested early release from probation in April 2019, but the request was denied. His probation ended in July 2020.

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