PALATKA, Fla. – Palatka police are investigating two deadly shootings on the city’s Northside that happened within 24 hours of each other in the same neighborhood.
Detectives said they have identified several persons of interest in a shooting Tuesday. They also said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the suspect involved in a shooting early Monday morning.
Police said Joseph Brinson, 42, was shot and killed early Tuesday morning in a driveway outside an apartment building on North 16th Street.
Jamel Lockhart, Brinson’s nephew, said he was sitting on his back porch when he began hearing people arguing out front.
“I did hear a yell and a scream then 10 minutes later I heard a gunshot,” Lockhart recalled. “Everybody was screaming and he was laying out there on the ground.”
Monique Ware said she had just come from work and heard a commotion outside her front door.
“I heard one gunshot. I turned off the light, dropped to the ground and called 911,” Ware recounted.
Police said Brinson died from a single gunshot wound.
Many people who News4Jax spoke with said Brinson was known for showing up at people’s homes to cut their hair.
“He was the best barber in Palatka. I won’t lie to you. I don’t think I will get a haircut from anyone else,” Lockhart said.
Although police have not identified the shooter, police said they have identified multiple persons of interest in the case.
Less than 24 hours prior to the fatal shooting of Brinson, police were called to another deadly shooting five blocks away.
Detectives said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of 46-year-old Oba Carter. According to police, he is accused of fatally shooting 43-year old Derek Leonard inside a home on North 11th Street after the two got into a fight over a woman.
Both deadly shootings in the North Palatka community come a week after another shooting sent a man to a hospital. Police said the man who was shot is not cooperating with detectives.
For many people who live in this close-knit community, three separate shootings, two of which were fatal, are something they are not accustomed to dealing with. On Tuesday evening, community leaders organized a prayer vigil to address the violence.
Several dozen people attended the vigil. Many of them were parents who brought their children. Pastor Leo Parker of Emerge Church said many of these parents don’t want their children to grow up thinking gun violence is acceptable behavior.
“We do not want this to become a new norm or label for them of a city of violence, a city of murder,” Parker said.
Palatka City Councilman Justin Campbell said the two deadly shootings this week have taken a toll on neighbors.
“Within the last 24 to 48 hours, our community has really been shaken. The lives of two really young individuals tragically taken is something we’re not used to around this town,” Campbell said “We’re not Jacksonville, but some people are beginning to think that, and that’s not the stigma we want to have.”
With no suspects identified yet in Brinson’s death, Campbell urged anyone with information to contact detectives.
“If anyone has anything or know anything or saw anything, this is the opportunity for those individuals to come forward and let’s bring closure or help these families get the closure they need during this time,” he said.