Man accused in shooting at Alabama high school football game jailed in St. Johns County

Fugitive on Mobile Police Department’s most wanted list captured in St. Augustine area, authorities say

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A man wanted in connection with a shooting last fall at a football stadium in Alabama was arrested Thursday in Northeast Florida, authorities said.

According to investigators, Hezekiah Belfon, 20, was taken into custody during a traffic stop in the St. Augustine area. Investigators said Belfon was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for speeding. When a St. Johns County deputy ran Belfon’s name, the deputy learned he was a fugitive wanted on attempted murder charges, authorities said.

Belfon was booked shortly before 11:30 a.m. into the St. Johns County jail, according to jail records.

The shooting happened Oct. 15 about 442 miles away from St. Augustine at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile -- where thousands were gathered at a high school football game, according to the Mobile Police Department.

Police said five people -- two adults and three teenagers ranging in age from 15 to 17 -- suffered gunshot wounds. One of the five was taken to a hospital in critical condition but survived.

Shortly after the shooting, police said that a 19-year-old was arrested on five counts of attempted murder, but that they were still looking for Belfon, who has five warrants charging him with attempted murder.

Police later said a 17-year-old was also arrested in connection with the shooting and charged as an adult with five counts of attempted murder.

Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine spoke at a news conference Thursday afternoon. He said Belfon had been on the run for five months and was considered armed and dangerous. The Police Department said it even put Belfon on its most wanted list because it felt he was a threat to public safety. But Prine said Belfon’s capture in Florida is giving the Police Department a sigh of relief.

“It’s a huge win for the Police Department and certainly for the community,” Prine said. “He was a threat to the community, and although we did not catch him here in Mobile, if he was a threat here, he was certainly a threat to the community he was at.”

Prine praised the deputy who arrested Belfon.

“What we have in St. Augustine is [a deputy] who was diligently doing his job and he did it well,” Prine said.

The process has already begun to have Belfon extradited back to Alabama.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has not commented on the arrest.

It’s unknown whether the driver of the car that was pulled over is facing any criminal charges. Investigators would have to prove the driver knew the passenger was a wanted fugitive.


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