Lone survivor of quadruple shooting charged with violating probation

Jacksonville police say Kenyata Bullard arrested after release from hospital

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Ronnie Rodgers - Associate Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 20-year-old man who was the only survivor of Tuesday night's quadruple shooting on Town Center Parkway was arrested Friday night, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Kenyata Bullard was one of four young men in a car that was left riddled with bullet holes late Tuesday after someone opened fire, killing three of the occupants.

Among those killed were 19-year-old Jercoby Groover, 18-year-old Royale Smith Jr., and Bullard's younger brother, 18-year-old Trevon Bullard.

Kenyata Bullard was wounded but survived and was released from the hospital, police said. Bullard's attorney told News4Jax that his client was hit over a dozen times.

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According to the Sheriff's Office, Kenyata Bullard, also known as Yungeen Ace, was sentenced to 31 months of probation last October after pleading no contest to being an accessory after the fact in a Clay County case.

Bullard's attorney, David Haas, said that immediately after he was released from the hospital, Bullard visited his probation officer to see if he could be moved out of town for safety following the attack. Haas said the probation office approved the move but called Bullard back in, possibly after a tip was reported to police, and arrested him for violating his probation.

"I think it is troubling when you have the victim of a crime getting arrested," Haas said. "He shouldn’t be in jail, he should be in a hospital."

Police said Bullard had a firearm, which is prohibited in the terms of his probation. Haas clarified that Bullard was not armed during the attack on Town Center Parkway.

Bullard, who is a popular rap artist who posts online videos, was taken to jail after his arrest.

Police said earlier that two of the four victims in the shooting were known members of a gang.

"They have blamed the music; they have blamed that he was in a gang," Haas said. "But he was trying to save somebody’s life, and arresting the victim of that for whatever they think he has done and focusing on something other than the person or people who has killed three people, to me is not a good use of resources."

Bullard was ordered to be held without bond when he appeared before a judge Saturday morning. He will be transferred to Clay County to face the probation violation charge. His next court date will be set once he is returned to Clay County.

On Friday night, the reward offered for information leading to an arrest in the shooting was increased from $3,000 to $8,000. To be eligible for the reward, callers must contact Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

Police said that in less than two hours Friday night, 675 people called the Sheriff's Office complaining that Bullard had been jailed while he was still recovering in the hospital.

Police believe the flurry of phone calls was sparked by social media posts. News4Jax found one saying, "Ace is not doin (sic) well please pray for him & demand justice for him."

"The calls coming in are delaying people who need police assistance and have true emergencies," JSO Public Information Officer Melissa Bujeda said in a statement.

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