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Person of interest in mass shooting held on $1.5M bond

Father of one of the shooting victims asks community for peace

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man police say was the boyfriend of one of the victims of Sunday's mass shooting in Northwest Jacksonville made his first appearance in court Thursday on a weapons charge.

David Anderson, 21, was ordered held on a $1.5 million bond on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Anderson was arrested Wednesday after a SWAT standoff in the Moncrief Park area.

He has been identified as a person of interest in the deadly shooting that left 18-year-old Xacia Burnem, 22-year-old Kadejah Williams, and Williams' son, 11-month-old Tedashii, dead. Two other people were wounded but survived.

Anderson has not been charged in connection with the triple murder.

The judge set his arraignment date for Dec. 8 -- the day Tedashii would have turned 1 year old.

Police said Wednesday that Anderson was Burnem's boyfriend at the time of the shooting, but Burnem's mother said that is not true. She told News4Jax Wednesday that her daughter was pregnant when she died.

Kadejah's father was in court for Anderson's first appearance and afterward asked the community to come together peacefully.

“This is tough for me,” David Williams said. “I just ask that everyone keeps us up in prayers and, like I said, there are other lives involved other than my child and grandson, and I just hope that we can get through this.”

He said he hopes the shooter is caught soon.

“Of course, I want to see justice done for my daughter and my grandchild and the young lady who perished as well, so I plan to be at every court hearing I can make it to,” David Williams said.

Police said that after he was taken into custody Wednesday, Anderson declined to cooperate with them and banged his head repeatedly on the cage of the police car to try to injure himself. Rescue workers responded and evaluated Anderson, who made suicidal threats and was taken to the Duval County Jail.

Anderson appeared Thursday in a red jumpsuit, indicating that he remains on suicide watch at the jail.

He was quiet as he sat waiting to be called before the judge, but looked around every couple of minutes to see who was in court and spoke to an officer before being called forward.

As Anderson was escorted out, he continued to look back at onlookers in the gallery, but his words were not clear.

 

David Williams said there will be a vigil at 7 p.m. Friday for Kadejah and Tedashii.

He said his daughter and grandson will be laid to rest the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The funeral will be at the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church on San Diego Road. The family has a GoFundMe account set up to help cover funeral costs.

Xacia Burnem's family will also have her funeral after Thanksgiving. To donate to help cover the funeral expenses, go to www.gofundme.com/burial-for-xacia-burnem.

Police still seeking answers

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the investigation into the mass shooting is ongoing and detectives are still looking for more witnesses to come forward.

“This has brought forth a lot of assistance from the community,” Sheriff Mike Williams said Wednesday. “We've gotten lots of cooperation from the community. We would ask that that continue. We still have lots of pieces of the puzzle to put together.”

RELATED: Police seek help to ID witnesses from mass shooting surveillance video

Anderson was identified by witnesses and information developed during the investigation as a person who was at the mass shooting scene Sunday night with a weapon, Sheriff Williams said. That led to an arrest warrant for Anderson on the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the arrest report, the handgun Anderson had was discharged Sunday night, but no details were provided about whether his weapon was involved in the fatal shootings.

Sheriff Williams said that police believe multiple witnesses at the scene of the mass shooting have not come forward yet to provide information in the case.

“If there is anybody else with additional information that can shed any more light on the situation, we would ask them to come forward and give us information," he said. “We need more help closing this loop and completing this investigation, so we're asking the community for that help.”

The sheriff said that many of the community's ministers have opened their sanctuaries to provide a safe haven for any witnesses and have been a conduit of information for police.

Anyone with information can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-866-845-TIPS and could be eligible for a cash reward. Police said it's important to know that even when a reward is collected from Crime Stoppers, the tipsters remain anonymous, and police never know who submitted the tip.


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