FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – More than a year after the initial search began, authorities have arrested two men in connection with what Flagler County deputies were calling a “true murder mystery.”
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said during a news conference on Friday that authorities across the country have been searching for the killer of Deon O’Neal Jenkins, a 25-year-old man who was fatally shot while sitting in a car parked at a Circle K gas station at Belle Terre Boulevard and Palm Coast Parkway, since October 2019.
Staly said Jenkins was shot by 26-year-old Marcus Avery Chamblin, who was dressed in dark clothing in an attempt to hide his identity and armed with a semi-automatic firearm he used to fire at least 16 shots in less than four seconds.
After firing more than a dozen rounds, Chamblin ran from the scene before he eventually took off in a getaway car that was believed to have been driven by 26-year-old Derrius Braxton Bauer, according to Staly.
“Using numerous investigative techniques, detectives were able to trace the shooter’s movements through business surveillance cameras in the area until he was picked up in a vehicle by his accomplice,” a news release from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office read.
The driver of the vehicle the victim was in had also been hit by gunfire, Staly said, but attempted to drive the victim to the hospital anyway. Unfortunately, the victim died from his injuries.
According to the sheriff, the suspected shooter and getaway driver fled to Virginia then California before eventually making their way back to Florida.
“This investigation spanned across Florida including Duval, Clay, Gulf, Miami-Dade and Putnam Counties, and to jurisdictions in Virginia, South Carolina and California,” the release read.
After more than 2,000 hours of investigation and as a result of the collaborative efforts between more than 20 agencies committed to solving what Staly called the most intense and difficult homicide case during his time as Flagler County sheriff, the suspects were taken into custody on Thursday.
Staly called the investigation the most extensive in modern Flagler County history.
“During this 15-month long investigation detectives spent about 2,000 investigative hours on this case. In varying degrees and capacities, over 40 Flagler County Sheriff’s Office employees, from patrol, to investigations, crime scene investigators, victim advocates, crime analysts, and others contributed to this successful investigation,” officials said in the release.
Chamblin is charged with first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, as well as shooting into an occupied vehicle. Authorities said he was detained while in prison at the Gulf Correctional Facility, where he was just days from being released.
Bauer, the accused accomplice, was charged with principal to first-degree murder, principal to second-degree attempted murder and principal to shooting into an occupied vehicle. The sheriff said he was arrested in Jacksonville and booked into the Duval-Jacksonville County jail. Both men will be brought to Flagler County to face their new charges and are being held without bond, according to the release.
Staly said the motive behind the fatal shooting is still unclear.
“This case is a testament to the lengths we will go to build a strong case, examine all the evidence, and take the time to bring justice for the victim and their family,” Staly said. “We’d like to thank the many agencies throughout the country that assisted with this case and I commend our entire team for bringing this difficult case to conclusion. Let this be a warning to criminals that law enforcement today knows no boundaries and we will always work with our partners, like they did for us, across the country to solve crime and arrest offenders no matter how long it takes.”