Teenage suspect in deadly Palm Coast shooting turns self in

Deputies arrest Marion Gavins Jr. in shooting death of Curtis Gray

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Roxy Tyler - Web producer, Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

PALM COAST, Fla. - The Palm Coast community is mourning a Flagler Palm Coast High School student and the prime suspect is under arrest after turning himself in Sunday afternoon, according to the Flagler County sheriff. 

Curtis Gray, 18, was shot in the abdomen outside a Palm Coast laundromat around 12:30 a.m. Saturday and died after being flown to a hospital.

Sheriff Rick Staly said Marion Gavins Jr.,17, is a suspect in the murder and his mother convinced him to turn himself in.

People at the Coin Laundry on Belle Terre Parkway where it happened are shocked.

"I haven't heard so much about shootings," said Jessican English, a customer of Coin Laundry.

"Like I said, I've seen someone passing drugs to someone in the laundromat and I've made a comment when I walked in like, 'Oh my gosh, did I just see that?'"

Maurice Brunier is also a customer at Coin Laundry.

"We're praying for the family," he said. "It's a big loss. Nobody wants to lose their child. "Hopefully they're grieving OK."

Staly said Gavins had been expelled from the school district and has a long criminal history. He's behind bars at the Sheriff Perry Hall Detention Center, facing murder charges. Staly said his deputies are not finished with the investigation. They are searching for Teresa Salgado, 18, who also goes by the name Alex. (pictured below) 

Teresa Salgado

Salgado is a person of interest in the homicide investigation. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Flager County Sheriff's Office at 386-313-4911 and mention case number 2019-34712 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).  Tipsters could be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000. 

Staly also announced the arrests of two teenagers who were at Gavin Jr.'s home. 

He said they were pulled over by deputies and they had a locked backpack in the car that contained more than 20 grams of marijuana and a .25-caliber gun. However, Staly said they do not believe that was the gun used to kill Gray.

Both teenagers were arrested and charged with possession of a firearm and more than 20 grams of marijuana.

Staly refused to say if the murder weapon has been found.

On Sunday afternoon, friends of Gray were having trouble dealing with the fact that he's gone.

"We would all just hang out at, like, every single day. Just to see that he is not here anymore with us, that’s just so tragic," said Gray's friend Eddie.

"(It) just left a hole in my heart. That was one of my best friends. I could just talk to him on a daily basis and just kick it with him and I can't do that no more. It’s kind of hard," said Gray's friend Joe.

The high school senior is being remembered as an outgoing student-athlete with a bright future. 

"He was going to get offers to go to college for track. He was doing big things," said friend Nehemiah Knight.

Instead, the teen is being remembered by classmates, teammates and coaches, with many posting #LLC for Long Live Curt, across social media.

Gray also played football and was known to his classmates for his sense of humor and as a cool kid.

"He was on the rise to greatness, a movement, like trying to build all the kids up, to rise up and do great things, be great, don’t be in the streets doing dumb stuff. When you’ve got talent, use it," Knight said.

There's no word yet on a possible motive for the deadly shooting. 

 

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