FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Three men face first-degree murder charges in connection with the deaths of two Flagler County 16-year-olds killed over a “beef between two groups,” Sheriff Rick Staly said at a news briefing Tuesday.
Tyrese Patterson, 20, Stephen Monroe, 23, and Devandre Williams, 18, were all arrested relating to the deaths of Flagler Palm Coast High School students Noah Smith and Keymarion Hall, Staly and Flagler-Volusia State Attorney RJ Larizza announced at the afternoon news conference.
Williams also faces second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges in the death of Hall, deputies said.
According to Staly, investigators have also issued an arrest warrant and are still searching for 18-year-old Terrell Sampson, who faces an attempted second-degree murder charge in the death of Smith.
Staly added that Sampson was the intended target in both fatal shootings, sparked by a rivalry between two “wanna-be gangs,” one out of Bunnell and the other called GSO — short for “Get Stepped On” — out of Palm Coast.
“I have a message to Terrell Sampson,” Staly said. “Turn yourself in now. You are safer facing your charges than being on the street looking over your back all the time, wondering when the other group’s gonna get you because that’s what killed two beautiful young kids in our county. We will not stop until we arrest you, and I promise you — you will get caught.”
In addition to the four men facing murder charges, Staly said during the investigation, deputies made six other arrests connected to the murders.
“Certain members of the community preferred to take street justice into their own hands instead of assisting law enforcement,” Staly said. “Multiple incidents were linked involving a handful of criminal thugs ranging in age from 14 to 28.”
According to deputies, 19-year-old Jebea Johnson, 28-year-old Edward Sampson, 19-year-old Keyshawn Davis, 20-year-old Josiah Feimster, 20-year-old Rodrick Williams and 14-year-old Lawrence Fullmore all face various charges in connection with the case, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery of a detained person, robbery with a weapon and discharging a firearm from a vehicle. Staly also said they are seeking a tenth person in relation to the shootings.
Staly said the events leading up to the two fatal shootings unfolded starting in mid-September 2021 when Johnson shot at a vehicle being driven by Devandre Williams in Bunnell. Then, in December, Feimster and Johnson were “in the vehicle of an unindicted co-conspirator” and were shooting each other before Johnson pulled a firearm on members of GSO.
As the tension between the warring groups heightened, a member of the group released a YouTube video in January 2022 showing Patterson, Monroe, Williams and Glib Fedotov pointing guns at the camera.
Smith was then fatally shot on South Anderson Street on Jan. 12, five days after the video was posted.
Witnesses said the occupants of the vehicle were blasting “Super Gremlin” by Kodak Black, a song that “states the subject of the song will be killed in front of witnesses,” Staly said.
Shortly after the shooting, the sheriff’s office issued a warning that retaliation and violence would not be tolerated.
“We have heard the chatter of recent threats and retaliation in the community,” Staly said after the teen was fatally shot. “We’ve been informed of multiple threats against the alleged perpetrator and the possibility of people taking matters into their own hands.”
In April, months after the shooting, Monroe, under the name “Kree2kutt,” released a song on Apple Music called “Okay.”
“I could be smokin’ on (murdering) Terrell, but that boy be takin’ flight,” he raps in the song.
The lyrics within the song referred to the shooting of Smith and suggested Terrell Sampson was the intended target, the sheriff continued. “Okay” also hinted at a fight that went down at a Volusia mall in which Johnson allegedly pulled a firearm on members of GSO.
“Social media is being weaponized by these groups of young kids, who I don’t think understand or appreciate just what they are doing to their communities, their communities,” Larizza said in response to the music videos and staged social media activities glorifying violence and death. “It’s ripping these communities apart. We’ve got families in here crying. We’ve got families that aren’t going to have their family members anymore. And over what? A beef about disrespect?”
About two weeks after the song release, Hall was found suffering from gunshot wounds near the intersection of South Pine and East Booe streets on May 3 and was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
After the shooting, Staly said detectives believed it was a drive-by shooting targeting Hall and another victim. He said it was the second time Hall, a 10th-grader at Flagler Palm Coast High School, had been shot in the last year. Staly said he believes it’s part of an uptick in youth violence in the area, a problem his office is trying to stop but can’t seem to get answers for in some cases.
“During this investigation, it was discovered that there were two opposing sides to local violence, including the Bunnell side and a Palm Coast,” Staly said. “The beef, resulting in street justice between Bunnell and Palm Coast groups, included taunting each other through social media, creating rap songs, as I mentioned, about each other and specific details that happened during these violent street justice incidents that led up to the murder. We also discovered multiple pictures of suspects posing with firearms and threatening each other. This was like a modern-day Hatfield and McCoy between these two warring factions.”
The fathers of both Smith and Hall, the two shooting victims, addressed those at the news briefing. Keith Smith, Noah Smith’s father, thanked the police department, and Hall’s dad called for the violence among children to stop.
“We lost Keymarion,” his dad said at the briefing. “But it don’t make sense, young people killing each other... we need all of ya’ll help.”
Staly emphasized that “the victims of the homicides were good kids. They were innocent kids. They were not the intended targets of the drive-by shootings.”
In an update, the 7th District State Attorney’s Office formally charged Patterson, Monroe and Williams with murder.
This afternoon, @FlaglerSheriff Sheriff Staly, State Attorney R.J. Larizza and Bunnell Police Chief Brannon announced three arrests made in the Noah Smith and Keymarion Hall homicides, with one suspect still at-large and all suspects facing charges for murder. pic.twitter.com/U5FjdBdk8w— State Attorney, Florida's 7th Circuit (@SAO7FL) June 14, 2022