Man arrested for attempted murder after gun malfunction saves the life of his intended victim


Donteau Ontrais Symonette, 41, was arrested early this morning following an attempted shooting at a card game in Archer.

According to the arrest report, an Alachua County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a call regarding an armed disturbance in Archer and found a victim bleeding from the back of his head.

The deputy learned from witnesses that a group of 10-20 people, including Symonette, had been playing spades on the front porch of a home. Symonette reportedly began losing money and told the other players he was going to get more money. When he returned, he allegedly pulled a handgun from his waistband and racked the slide back, then fired a round into the floor of the porch, saying “Empty your pockets.”

The witnesses said that people started running, and Symonette said, “Don’t run, empty your pockets.” Symonette allegedly took money from some of the players and from the card table. He allegedly approached the victim and started hitting him in the head with his gun, then pointed the gun directly at the head of the victim and pulled the trigger multiple times. The gun malfunctioned, so the victim was not shot. The gun was knocked out of Symonette’s hand into nearby bushes.

Witnesses said that Symonette picked up the gun and sat down at the table, racking the slide back and forth to try to clear the malfunction. When deputies arrived, Symonette reportedly got into his truck and tried to drive away.

The responding deputy saw the truck driving away and relayed that information to other deputies, who pulled Symonette over and arrested him.

Symonette has previous felony convictions and has been charged with attempted homicide (committing an act that could cause death), possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and firing a weapon on residential property. He is being held on $350,000 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. 

  • Don’t forget, the liberal HYPOCRATS don’t want law abiding citizens to own guns but they can’t seem to keep guns out of the hands of felons.

    Hope that makes you feel safe at night.

    • ….the word for
      Today is: recidivism. The SAO and the criminal justice
      System get a failing grade because they have a high
      Rate of recidivism…they are failing to teach criminals
      That “crime doesn’t pay”. — 1. Will GNV and Alachua County’s high rate of recidivism be cured by
      Giving released felons a free place to live & a monthly
      Stipend so they can “sorta build back better”? 2. How many times is acceptable for a convicted felon to be caught with a gun before they get
      A mandatory 10 years in prison? & 3. Should there be
      Zero tolerance for convicted felons getting caught with
      A gun in Florida?

  • Sad, I wonder if he knew his poker buddies? Not good to bet with strangers with funny names.

  • Gotta know when to fold ’em. This guy was real lucky there wasn’t a trained concealed carrier there. There should have been. Maybe this incident will convince some that they should apply. Maybe DeSantis will introduce Constitutional Carry in the special session like he alluded to.

    • I’m not sure that Licensed conceal carriers can bring
      Guns to an illegal card game and bootleggers’ house.

  • Should they arrest the proprietor of this illegal gambling
    Establishment for creating the environment for this
    To happen? Sounds like a “bootleggers house”…

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