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Keystone Heights man arrested for shooting at Hyatt Place

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Joshua Justin Sheppard, 23, was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with aggravated assault, shooting into a building, discharging a firearm in public, openly carrying a firearm, and disorderly intoxication after allegedly shooting at the door of the Downtown Gainesville Hyatt Place hotel.

Sheppard allegedly fired at least four shots into an exterior door of the hotel, then pointed his firearm at a man, causing him to fear for his safety and retreat back into the hotel.

A responding Gainesville Police Department officer reportedly found Sheppard on the sidewalk outside the hotel at about 3:45 a.m., with the grip and slide of the gun, which was tucked into his waistband, plainly visible. A witness provided the officer with a video that reportedly showed Sheppard trying to open the door of the hotel before shooting at the door.

The officer reported that Sheppard appeared to be intoxicated and was “slurring his speech, asking questions repeatedly, belligerently yelling at officers, and making racially charged statements.”

Post Miranda, Sheppard reportedly admitted the gun belonged to him but denied firing it or pointing it at anyone. He also reportedly said he had visited a bar earlier in the evening.

Sheppard has no criminal history; Judge Lorelie Brannan ordered him held on $100,000 bail.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • It is amazing this person didn’t injure or kill somebody. If this was a one-off deal it would be bad enough. But it ISN’T; hardly a month goes by without some sort of life changing mayhem. The well-meaning people who have invested in a better future downtown are being treated as chumps by the City and the courts.

  • Keystone natives can’t handle the Big City of downtown, something must have *triggered* him…

  • There’s stupid and there’s REALLY STUPID. He’s obviously more of the latter than the former.

  • This story makes absolutely no sense. There must have been someone inside the hotel he was trying to get to. Otherwise we have a gun toting kid with no criminal history randomly shooting into buildings. A real head scratcher.

  • Lock his ass up. They will convict him of this. He will not be able to have a gun again legally.

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