ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Since Sunday morning, there have been five instances of gun violence in Escambia County and according to the sheriff’s office at least two are connected by a sort of “beef,” going back to 2020.
Beginning early Sunday morning, ECSO responded to a shots fired disturbance around 1 a.m., Sunday morning, at the 2000th block of Pin High Drive. Upon arrival, ESCO said they discovered a male victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. ECSO said around 100 people were at a house party at a rental property.
Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said shots were fired at the front and the back of the home, ending with one individual shot in the front of the house with non-life-threatening injuries, and the one shot in the back of the home succumbing to his injuries.
“We are continuing the investigation into that,” Simmons said. “Looking at footage, there were people coming and going and a lot of people had guns. A lot of people had guns in their pocket and under their arm. We had up to 100 people, and no one called us. We received no call until the call of shots being fired.”
Simmons said there are four people wanted in connection with the shooting at the house party.
On Tuesday morning, Simmons said they received a report of a white male shot and killed on a dirt road off Blue Angel Pkwy.
Simmons said the victim was in a stolen vehicle, which has now been burned. Simmons said his office is still looking into that situation, and believes the man is from Alabama.
On Tuesday night, Simmons said they had a “pretty busy night.”
Simmons said they received a call from Peachtree Commons, where they found shell casing and blood, but no victims. While they were at the scene, Simmons said two people responded to Perdido ER with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Simmons said one of the victims’ sisters got in her car and started to head to the hospital. He said while she is en route, she was attacked by a person in a dark blue vehicle and her vehicle was shot at.
“She does give us a description and she is not injured,” Simmons said. “This is when the good police work comes around.”
According to Simmons, his deputies spent the entire night chasing the suspect, finally apprehending him at 8 a.m.
He said one of his deputies observed the dark blue vehicle around Fairfield Drive and chases the vehicle. The vehicle became disabled, and Simmons said the suspect got out of the dark blue vehicle and starts to run from deputies with a rifle in his hand. Simmons said he discarded his rifle and ran into the Mayfair area.
“The good police work is that we didn’t give up,” Simmons said. “We had probably a dozen deputies there, the assistance of our gun crimes unit. Throughout the night, the suspect made contact with several people in the Mayfair area. He was trying to get into a house. He was trying to get into a car. He was trying to just find anyway to get out of that scene because we had set up a perimeter.”
Tracy Posey, 19, was apprehended and arrested around 8 a.m., Wednesday morning. Simmons said they are still working on the charges.
Later Wednesday morning, Simmons said they received a report at Dogwood Drive, where two teenagers, 14 years old and 17 years old were shot in a drive-by shooting. Simmons said they do not have any more information, but they are continuing to investigate.
Simmons said he does believe at least two of the shootings are connected, going back to an ongoing “beef” that started in 2020.
“From what I’m being told, there was a homicide involving a local artist and from that point on, there has been an ongoing ‘beef,’” Simmons said. “Sometimes it escalates to shootings, sometimes it does not. Occasionally these people who are involved in this, the ones who want revenge or want to retaliate, that is the situation that this puts our neighborhoods in. We’ve got young kids who are injured by gunfire, and it’s because we got people in our community who just don’t care. They carry guns, use these guns and just don’t care about life, our community, their family, all they care about is themselves.”
Two weeks ago, a gun violence roundtable was held with law enforcement, local government officials and state officials talked about the ongoing need to curb the violence. Simmons said he thinks they still have a good strategy.
“We are practically fully staffed, we have a gun crimes unit and rely heavily on our intelligence unit,” Simmons said. “During our gun crimes roundtable, a lot of people talked about programs and about parenting and about mentorship. I can tell you that if you have an individual who is going to go to a house party armed with an assault rifle, they are unlikely to go to a program. These are individuals who are dead set on committing crimes and they are going to do whatever they can to see these crimes out. That is why we need the community to help us. Our response is the same.”
Simmons said they are going to continue to work on the investigations and ask the community to come forward with any information on the incidents.