Suspect arrested in connection with mass shooting in Florida in that killed 3 and injured 20

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MIAMI, FL – Authorities in Miami-Dade made an arrest in a May mass shooting that occurred at a northwest Miami-Dade banquet hall that killed three people and injured 20 others.

The 22-year-old suspect was arrested earlier in September and was booked under three counts of first-degree murder and 20 counts of attempted first-degree murder. However, authorities say the suspect arrested is not one of the trigger men involved.

On September 23rd, police arrested 22-year-old Davonta Barnes in connection with the May 30th mass shooting that claimed three lives and injured 20 others at a release party for a local rap artist at the El Mula banquet hall located off of 7630 Northwest 186th Street.

Officials say that Barnes did not shoot anyone during the incident, instead allegedly serving as a lookout for the numerous other shooters involved that unloaded on a crowd gathered outside of the banquet hall.

Barnes reportedly told investigators that he drove to the scene in his mother’s vehicle in an effort to inform the other suspects involved that a particular individual they were targeting was present at the gathering outside the banquet hall.

Two of the three people killed in the mass shooting died on the scene, with the third dying at an area hospital. The victims were identified as 26-year-old Clayton Dillard, 26-year-old Desmond Owners, and 32-year-old Shaniqua Peterson.

News cameras captured the father of Dillard, Clayton Dillard, Sr., as he broke down outside of the scene where his son was killed. Dillard’s father pointed out where his sone laid dead following the shooting, saying the following:

“My son died right here, he laid right here like this, and no one helped him!”

Speaking in front of news cameras in a message to those responsible, Dillard’s father added:

“You killed my son, you took my heart, you broke my home, you stole from me, imagine this happen to any one of you all, man.”

Rodney Thomas, whose daughter Kadedra Thomas was injured in the shooting but is steadily recovering after being shot three times, commented on the arrest and charging of Barnes:

“I was very happy…there’s a sense of relief. I was happy that progress is being made in catching these guys.”

Angelica Green, who is the mother of one of the victims injured in the shooting, recalled the phone call she got from her son that night after he’d been shot:

“He called us frantic, telling us he had been shot, that it hurts, it hurts and that he loves us and wants us to know. My husband is like ‘no stay with us, stay with us.’ We hop in the car and we’re talking to him to keep him alert.”

Authorities say that there were three shooters involved in the mass shooting, which surveillance video showed the trio emerging from a Nissan Pathfinder heavily armed before unleashing on the crowd outside the banquet hall.

After the shooting, the three suspects jumped back into the Nissan and fled the scene. Authorities later discovered the vehicle submerged in a canal in the area of 154th Street and Northwest 2nd Avenue. Apparently, the vehicle was reported stolen 15 days before the mass shooting.

The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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Suspected gunman in Tennessee grocery store mass shooting identified as UK Thang, son of refugees

(Originally published September 26th, 2021)

COLLIERVILLE, TN– According to authorities, one person was killed and 14 others were injured in a shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tennessee. 

Police stated that the suspected shooter, since identified as 29-year-old UK Thang, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thang was a third-party vendor for Kroger.

According to the Commercial Appeal, Thang’s family was from Myanmar, according to a family friend.

Both of his parents were refugees from the country in Asia that was formerly known as Burma. 

During a press briefing, Collierville Police Department Chief Dale Lane stated that a total of 15 people were shot, including 70-year-old Olivia King who died from her wounds. The other 14 individuals are in stable condition.

Lane added that 10 of the victims shot were Kroger employees and five were customers. Lane confirmed that Thang was a lone gunman. Thang had some minor charges in his criminal history. Lane said:

“I believe misdemeanor arrests, but nothing related to violence.”

The chief said that officials served a search warrant at the alleged shooter’s home at a local apartment complex, seizing electronics and other evidence. One additional person was also questioned.

NBC News reported that investigators believe they know the motive, but Lane declined to immediately reveal what may have sparked the attempted mass shooting. Lane said:

“We have a pretty good picture now, but that’s not something that I’m ready to release at this point. We need to make sure that we don’t do anything to compromise this investigation.”

The carnage was unlike anything the chief had ever seen. Describing a chaotic scene of people hiding in every corner of the store, Lane said in a statement:

“We all came to the scene and all went into that building and so it’s the worst thing that I’ve seen in 34 years. Coming out of, you know, like I said we were finding people all over the stores hidden. And in the freezers closets, you know, all over.”

The police chief praised workers and shoppers, alike, for their own life-saving actions as soon as gunfire erupted. Lane told reporters:

“As we entered that building, it was very obvious they, the employees and even the customers, knew what to do. It was run, hide, and fight. They secured themselves. They did what they had to do until we could get in there to help them.”

Collierville Alderman Maureen Fraser praised first responders, stating:

“…Many years of training was put to the test today and they did an remarkable job, it could have been so much worse.”

She added:

“Continue to pray for several others who were shot and are currently in surgery. Pray for the health care providers. Pray for the Kroger employees. Pray for Collierville!”

On Friday, September 24th, Mayor Stan Joyner said in a statement:

“This is, for the town of Collierville, I think going to be one of those ‘where you were when’ events. That’s something that’s a reality.”

Brignetta Dickerson, a cashier, told Memphis ABC affiliate WATN that she ran into a back room with customers. She said the gunman came in shooting, striking an employee in the head, a customer in the stomach, and an employee in the cheek. She added:

“All of a sudden, I went through the receiving department … and here he comes right behind us and start shooting and he kept shooting and shooting and shooting.”

Tawana French said she was heading into the Kroger that afternoon when she encountered people, including children, running out of the store. She said:

“A split second later, I hear gunfire. I ran, ran, ran before I could get to my car, which was not very far at all, I heard even more gunfire. Rapid succession, just pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. I just wanted to get to a safe place.”

The suspected shooter’s car remains in the store parking lot. Resources were brought in to safely inspect the vehicle. Police plan to carry out search warrants at several locations, but Lane couldn’t divulge any information on where. 

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Armed citizen takes down active shooter outside fitness center, saving countless lives

(Originally published September 24th, 2021)

KALISPELL, MT – An armed citizen is said to have taken down an active shooter who murdered a fitness center employee earlier in September.

While initial reports indicated that the citizen who stepped in may have been a veteran, the man responded to those assertions saying he’s not a veteran – but simply “an American Montana man”.

According to reports, the incident occurred in the parking lot of the Fuel Fitness center at 1305 Highway 2 West at about 10:52 a.m. on September 16th.

The incident started off after 27-year-old Fuel Fitness manager Matthew David Hurley, along with his assistant manager Matthew Underhill, approached a vagrant sleeping in the rear parking lot to discuss a refund over an unused membership.

Apparently, the discussion became heated, as the vagrant was reportedly demanding more money than was being offered by the two regarding this refund.

When both Hurley and Underhill informed the vagrant that he wasn’t going to be offered anymore money, the vagrant allegedly said they were “going to die today.”

The suspect opened fire on the two employees, fatally shooting Hurley while Underhill was able to reach cover.

While this was going on, William Keck – a member of the fitness center – was going out to his car to retrieve his wallet. However, when Keck stepped outside, he heard the gunfire and another gym employee informed him that Hurley had been shot.

Keck then ran out to his vehicle to retrieve his firearm and told the vagrant to stop shooting – but instead, the suspect then allegedly turned his attention toward Keck and fired at him. Keck returned fire, striking the vagrant.

When the suspect was on the ground after being struck, Keck reportedly repeated commands for the suspect to stay on the ground and cease firing. Yet, the suspect fired off two more rounds, striking Keck once in the thigh.

After being shot, Keck retrieved his dog from his vehicle and went back inside of the gym to seek immediate care for his wound. By the time police arrived at the scene, they’d happened upon Keck and the suspect both suffering from gunshot wounds.

According to a statement from the Kalispell Police Department regarding their response, both the suspect and Keck were transported to Logan Health for treatment of their wounds. Keck has since clearly recovered, but the suspect was listed as being “in critical condition and remains under law enforcement supervision.”

When speaking about the incident to a local news outlet, Keck recounted what was going through his mind while engaging the armed suspect:

“The only thing that bothers me traumatically from this event was seeing Matt Hurley on the ground. In the exchange with him, I knew he had just killed someone. Who else is he gonna kill?”

Keck noted that if he had to do it again, he would, saying that having a firearm saved his life and others that day:

“My motto in life is to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it. I firmly believe in the right to bear arms, and this is an example why.”

When addressing initial reports that suggested Keck was a veteran, he took to social media to clear the air, writing the following:

“I am not a vet. I’m just an American Montana man who loves his country and community and was put in a spot where God used me to do what I could. I’m not a hero. I just did what I thought was right.”

Kalispell Police Chief Doug Overman stated that his department will not yet release the name of the suspect until formal charges have been handed down. He confirmed that the case has been submitted to the Flathead County Attorney’s Office.

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