GPD requests help identifying suspect

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

As reported in a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) Press Release on Monday, February 22, 2021, GPD officers were involved in several incidents related to gun violence last weekend.

While on an increased patrol of downtown Gainesville on Sunday, February 21, 2021, GPD officers notified dispatch of shots fired in the area at approximately 1:30 a.m. Subsequent to the gunshots, GPD officers were canvassing downtown parking lots for victims and/or active shooters from previous reports of shots fired. While canvassing, several more gunshots were fired in a rapid succession coming from the rear parking lot of a downtown business.

As seen on the body cam, a GPD officer ran toward the gunfire. As the officer approached the area, he observed a black male subject crouched down next to a GRU electrical box at the corner of NW 2nd Street/NW 1st Avenue. The GPD officer observed the black male subject in possession of a firearm while looking toward the direction of where the gunshots where coming from. The GPD officer challenged the black male subject at gunpoint and ordered him to drop his weapon. However, the black male subject disobeyed the officer’s lawful commands (“Hands up, hands up, drop it right now.”) and fled northbound, running through an open field.

Several vehicles were struck by gun fire that evening, and an innocent bystander was grazed by a bullet. Approximately 25 shell casings were recovered from the parking lot of the downtown business during GPD’s investigation.

GPD is asking our neighbors’ assistance in identifying the black male subject observed on the officer’s body worn camera. If you any have knowledge about the individual fleeing the GPD officer or other details concerning this incident, please contact GPD Detective J. Castor at 352-872-2101, or for anonymous reporting, contact Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867 or https://www.stopcrime.tv/.

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