PALM BAY, Fla. – Two Palm Bay teenagers were arrested this week in connection to an Aug. 27 fight that started at Bayside High School and ended in a shooting at a neighborhood clubhouse.
Palm Bay City Police Department officers arrested Alexander Macaya and Edwin Murat, both 18, on several charges.
Both suspects were arrested days after the alleged offense. According to the reports, Murat was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop on felony charges of carrying a concealed firearm and a misdemeanor for improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon. Macaya was arrested Thursday at Bayside HS for aggravated battery, also a felony.
On Friday, felony aggravated battery charges were also filed for Murat.
Officers and witnesses said the fight that launched it all took place on school grounds. Once school was dismissed, many students drove to a gated subdivision community clubhouse on Bramblewood Drive.
Lt. Chris Imel with PBPD said surveillance video footage showed several of the students and individuals at the clubhouse parking lot ganging up on another male before the shooting happened.
“People surrounded the one individual and started beating him, basically taking turns,” Imel said.
According to the report, all suspects had fled the scene before police arrived, and officers found several 9mm bullet casings on the parking lot floor.
Imel said the video also showed one of the suspects walking toward a vehicle to retrieve a firearm and then firing it into the air several times. Another male also went to a vehicle to retrieve a firearm but put it away on himself and never used it.
The lieutenant also said the victim is stable, but a person can be charged with aggravated battery when great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement is caused to the victim.
“He’s OK,” Imel said. “I can’t go into details, but you can imagine.”
Macaya’s arrest report said approximately five male suspects assaulted the 16-year-old male victim at the same time.
Bramblewood Administrator Nicole Flannagan was present at the time of the fights. Her daughter is also a student at Bayside. Flanagan said she had just returned from dropping her daughter off at home from school when she found several cars and teenagers at the Clubhouse parking lot.
“She had already told me about the fight at her school,” Flannagan said. “I had a suspicious feeling that something was going on and that whatever fight happened at the school was about to finish here.”
Flannagan said she watched the teenagers, as more cars and more kids kept arriving until two separate fights broke out. She immediately called the police. While she was calling, she said, she heard the first gunshot, followed by several more.
Flannagan said she didn’t fear violence from the gunshots. She said she saw it more as a power move, a scare tactic to intimidate. According to the report, the footage showed the suspect shooting up into the air before retrieving and leaving the scene.
“My fear was not that the kids would come in and start shooting everybody,” she said. “My fear was, they’re going to act stupid, shoot each other, and someone is going to get hurt unintentionally.”
Imel said an investigation is still ongoing and that it is unknown right now where the firearms came from or where they are now.
“Hopefully, the violence stops, and the kids stop resorting to guns and actually learn to speak to each other like human beings,” he said.
Macaya’s arrest report said a third suspect, Justin Cuttaia, a 17-year-old senior wide receiver for the Bayside Bears, is still at large.