DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said the recent rash of shootings in the area are all related and conflicting groups fighting over drugs and rap music are to blame.
Capri said Tuesday that he was launching a task force after six shootings were reported in the city during a 48-hour period.
“We’ve determined that all these shootings are related and it’s basically a disturbance between two groups, two rival groups, that are fighting – believe it or not – over drugs and rap music,” Capri said.
One of the shootings left 19-year-old Daemon Carn dead. Investigators said he was killed Tuesday after people in another vehicle chased him. The victim ran from his car, and three masked men opened fire, killing him.
Police said 17-year-old Kevin Stokes, who has a criminal history, is a person of interest in the fatal shooting. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to his arrest.
“He’s known to carry guns and shoot. He’s a typical street thug, doesn't care anything about human life,” Capri said.
Daytona Beach police also said a woman, who is four months pregnant, was shot in the leg Tuesday near the Taco Bell on North Nova Road.
The victim in that case tried to signal to the shooter that she was a female and not to shoot, according to an incident report. Capri described her as an innocent bystander who was unrelated to the other shootings.
The suspect vehicle in that case was nearly identical to the suspect vehicle in the homicide that happened minutes earlier, according to authorities.
Also, a man said he was shot earlier in the day while sleeping in his car in the Berkshire area.
Another incident happened Tuesday evening. Four people were arrested following a pursuit, crash and shooting near Fremont and Ridgewood in Daytona Beach. Demackalis Few, Diante Thompson, Rasheem Smith and Zipporah Shavers were arrested in connection with that incident.
On Monday, police said a man showed up at a hospital with a gunshot wound to his left leg.
“I’m worried about Daytona Beach, and I know how to fix this, and we are going to fix it, and we are going to make these streets safe, and that’s a promise I’m making to my citizens. I can guarantee you that," said Capri.
Capri said his Summer Heat Task Force will remain on the streets with extra patrols throughout the summer.
He said Wednesday that the streets were quiet because all the individuals involved in the recent related shootings know that officers are looking for them.
Capri said he won't stop until the criminals are behind bars.
“We’re not going to tolerate this in Daytona Beach. We refuse to tolerate that. We have zero tolerance for gun violence, any kind of gun crimes, and if you do that in the city, we’re gonna come after you. It’s as simple as that,” Capri said.
He stressed that the violence is not gang-related and that crime is down overall in Daytona Beach.
“It’s a bunch of Daytona kids that don’t know what the hell they’re doing, that are misguided, young adults that are living some kind of fantasy world. It’s all fun and games until you pull out guns and start shooting people and now we’re involved and that game’s over,” Capri said.
He said most of the people who are involved have been identified and that several people have been arrested and arrest warrants have been signed for the others.
Anyone with information on Stokes' whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).