On February 9, 2005, 25 year old Fadi Abukhdair was shot and killed during a robbery attempt. Abukhdair was the owner/operator of the BP gas station, located at 835 W Memorial Boulevard.
On October 10, 1986, 41-year-old Robert April was discovered in the railroad yard in the 600 block of Kathleen Road. He had been beaten to death. He was known to be a homosexual and drug abuser who frequented the northwest area of Lakeland.
On May 20, 1984, the decomposed body of 18-year-old Karen Badger was located underneath a piece of carpet in a vacate field in the 700 block of E Robson Road. The cause of death could not be determined.
On September 26, 2007, 33-year-old Jason Cobb exited Club Kathleen and was walking with a female in the 800 block of Lincoln Avenue when he was shot in the right side. The investigation revealed he was possibly not the intended target, but walked in the path of a disturbance erupting in the parking lot of Owenby Auto Parts. Trevor Link was identified by witnesses as the shooter. However, there were additional shooters present and shooting in the same direction as Link. No projectile was recovered from the deceased.
On June 5, 2007, at approximately 2:53 a.m., Lakeland Police responded to 2934 Kathryn Avenue in reference to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located 42-year-old George Cox, Jr. lying in the hallway of the residence with multiple gunshot wounds. Cox was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He had sustained gunshot wounds to his arm, leg, and head. During the investigation, it was determined that possibly three or more subjects gained entry into the residence. Two of the subjects entered the bedroom of Mr. Cox’s mother where they woke her up, then held her down by her head and legs while demanding money. At some point, Cox came out of his bedroom and his mother heard a disturbance outside her room and then gunshots. The two males in her room exited the residence. She was able to tell police that the two suspects ran out of the house, at which time, she discovered her son lying in the hallway with gunshot wounds. Mrs. Cox described the suspects as black males but was unable to give anything else because they had their faces covered. Mr. Cox initially survived his injuries but died as a result of those on May 4, 2008.
On January 4, 2008, Anthony Curtis was shot to death in his residence, located at 842 Channing Road. Curtis was 23 years old at the time of his death. He was known as a small-time marijuana dealer and had many acquaintances as a result. Just prior to his death, a friend of Anthony’s intercepted a shipment of approximately 100 pounds of marijuana that was delivered to the wrong address. The friend told Anthony about this and used Anthony’s house as a place to store the shipment. It is not known if the owner of the marijuana knew where Anthony lived and was involved in his murder.
On October 8, 1979, at approximately 12:31 p.m., skeletal remains were located in a vacant lot in the 600 block of W 14th Street. The skeleton was identified as 22-year-old, Ida Igles.
On February 10, 1984, 26-year-old Ray Hollingsworth left the ABC Lounge, located at 1557 US Highway 98 S. Once outside the lounge, he discovered his vehicle being driven through the parking lot by an unknown culprit. He gave chase on foot on to US 98 S where the culprit intentionally struck him with the vehicle. He died as a result of his injuries.
On November 3, 1983, at approximately 6:02 a.m., 65-year-old Shad Jenkins was found shot in the carport at 1137 W 10th Street. Mr. Jenkins was working on his car during the night when he suffered a fatal shotgun wound.
On November 20, 1989, 30-year-old David Manley was found deceased in the 1000 block of N Texas Avenue. Manley had suffered multiple stab wounds to the upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation revealed the alias he was utilizing and he was suspected of dealing in crack cocaine on the streets. He had been in Lakeland for a few months after his release from jail.
On November 30, 1984, 44-year-old Leonard McCullough was found shot to death. Mr. McCullough was employed at Ernie Haire Volkswagon as a car salesman. He was last seen with a Latin male conducting a test drive. Mr. McCullough was discovered inside the vehicle a short time later in the 1000 block of Ruth Avenue. The investigation revealed the incident appeared to have been a planned “hit” and the deceased had organized crime connections.
On April 27, 1991, 34-year-old Fredrick Henderson was discovered in the yard located in the 1200 block of N Virginia Avenue. He suffered from a small caliber gunshot wound to the back.
On September 4, 1994, 40-year-old Alford Jones was riding a bicycle in the 1800 block of Olive Street when he was shot in the chest and succumbed to his injuries on the south side of the roadway.
On December 23, 1998, at approximately 3:52 a.m., Johnny Morris, aka Poppy, was found shot to death in the alley near 701½ East Myrtle Street. Morris’ vehicle, a 1979 Chevy Impala, was parked in the roadway on East Myrtle Street just south of where Morris was killed. The keys to the vehicle were found in the victim’s pocket, no other valuables were located.
According to several witnesses, Morris was in the area to sell drugs. A witness who was visiting the occupants at 701½ East Myrtle Street left the residence at approximately 3:50 a.m. The witness walked down the alley towards East Parker, at which time, she came across the victim lying in the alley. The witness ran back to the residence and advised the occupants of what she had seen. They went to the McDonald’s Restaurant on East Memorial Boulevard and called 9-1-1.
Morris had been shot one time and was pronounced dead at the scene. A spent shell casing was found at the scene. It appears that Morris struggled with his killer or killers prior to being shot.
On September 24, 2010, at approximately 12:00 a.m., Lakeland Police responded to 1113 Stella Avenue, Apartment 2, in reference to shots fired. Upon arrival officers located, 31-year-old Trevor Judonn Link, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso and lower body. Link was pronounced dead at the scene.
During the course of the investigation, officers located a game system and a shirt lying in the driveway behind Link’s vehicles. Officers also gathered information and found evidence in the residence that suggested this apartment was used as a drug house also known as a “Trap”. Trevor Link was a known drug dealer who had numerous run-ins with law enforcement. Some of the information gathered through the investigation suggested that the victim only allowed persons he personally knew into the residence. One indication is there was a portion of the window blinds, next to the door, cut out and fashioned as a peep hole. This information leads detectives to believe it is possible the victim knew his killer.
The investigation turned up many different rumors about what happened to the victim. One rumor, on the street, was that this was an organized drug hit, but no information was developed to support that notion. Another rumor police were hearing is the victim owed his narcotic supplier a large sum of money and this was retaliation for that unpaid debt. Still, others were saying; that this was a revenge killing, as the victim was known to fight and rob others.
On Monday, November 22, 2010, at approximately 4:00 pm, 26-year-old Jimmy Hughes Jean was shot at 5th Street and Lincoln Avenue.
The incidents that led up to this homicide started on Saturday, November 20, 2010, at approximately 6:10 am. Jimmy Jean’s brother, Eric, was on his way to work and stopped at the BP gas station located at 813 W. Memorial Blvd. A confrontation ensued between Kevin Mitchell and Eric Jean in the parking lot with Kevin Mitchell ultimately breaking out the windows on Eric’s vehicle.
On Monday, November 22, 2010, a group of Eric’s friends went on a mission to track down and locate Kevin Mitchell in retaliation. This group of friends found out that Kevin Mitchell was hanging out around the area of 5th Street and Lincoln Avenue with his friends. The group contacted Eric, but he was at work and could not go with the group to confront Kevin Mitchell. The group then contacted Jimmy Jean to stand in for his brother.
The group of approximately 8 to 9 individuals traveled in three separate vehicles to 5th Street and Lincoln Avenue. Upon the groups’ arrival, Terrence Hill and Jimmy Jean confronted Kevin Mitchell and demanded payment for the damage to Eric’s vehicle; Kevin Mitchell refused to make restitution. A physical altercation ensued between Kevin and Jimmy. At this time, Terrence Hill and other group members jumped in and assisted with the attack on Kevin. Kevin’s friends then intervened and several other physical altercations ensued. A member of Jimmy’s group pulled out a firearm and shot into the air. A member of Kevin’s group retrieved a handgun from behind a residence and began shooting at the other group. A couple of Jimmy’s friends exchanged gunfire with the group of Kevin’s friends and everybody began to run. As Jimmy Jean ran east, he ran into the path of a fellow group member who was shooting at members of Kevin Mitchell’s group, Jimmy Jean was shot and collapsed onto the ground.
Jimmy was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, by his group members, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the head and placed on life support. On Tuesday, November 23, 2010, Jimmy Jean succumbed to his gunshot wound and was pronounced dead by the medical staff at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
On October 22, 2011, at approximately 12:34 a.m., officers responded to 1036 Marion Avenue in reference to shots fired. Upon arrival, officers found 34-year-old Desmond Johnson deceased inside the apartment. Johnson had been shot. He was a known drug dealer.
On January 28, 2013, officers responded to 1022 Jewel Avenue and found 17-year-old Daylon Easton deceased inside the residence. Easton died of a gunshot wound.
On September 9, 2013, at approximately 11:34 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Oregon Avenue in reference to a reported shooting. The deceased, 27-year-old Myron Carr and a juvenile were shot by unknown person(s) traveling northbound on Oregon Avenue in a dark-colored vehicle (Saturn SUV or Chevy Impala). The victims were outside of the apartments with seven other individuals standing next to or sitting on a parked vehicle in the parking lot. Two additional witnesses were sitting inside a different vehicle smoking marijuana during the incident. This shooting appears to be gang-related.
On October 10, 2013, 83 year old John Papay was struck on the back of the head with an unknown object and robbed of his wallet. The robbery occurred just outside Papay’s home, located at 215 Belmar Street. Papay died as a result of his injuries on December 18, 2013. The police were not advised of his death until January 29, 2014.
On Sunday, April 13, 2003, at approximately 11:46 p.m., officers from the Lakeland Police Department responded to the area of the LaCasa Apartments, 915 Ariana Street, in reference to several calls of shots fired. Upon the arrival of the first officer on the scene, he discovered the victim lying in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 12:09 a.m. The victim was identified as 43 year old, Patrick Pinnock.
The apartment complex is comprised of five separate buildings. The victim’s vehicle, which was a red Ford Contour, was found at the rear of the apartment complex with the driver’s door opened. There was blood located on the inside and outside of the vehicle. There was a trail of blood leading from the vehicle to where the victim was found in the parking lot. Numerous casings were recovered at the scene.
A neighbor witnessed two subjects climb over the wall after the gunshots were heard. The wall that the subjects were seen climbing over is a block wall located on the East side of the apartment complex.
The investigation revealed that the victim did not live in the area. The victim was a known burglar and crack cocaine user. It is not known why the victim was at the apartment complex.
On Friday, September 4, 1981, at approximately 8:35 a.m., 31 year old Linda Patterson Slaten was found deceased in her apartment. Slaten had been strangled with a metal coat hanger. Slaten was found lying across her bed in her bedroom. Slaten’s two teenage sons, twelve and fifteen, were asleep in their beds. Neither of the sons was disturbed during the night.
Slaten and her two sons had recently moved to apartment #31 at the Bonnett Shores Apartments, 303 N. Brunnell Parkway in Lakeland. They had moved into the apartment approximately two weeks earlier. The Bonnett Shores Apartment Complex was a newly constructed complex consisting of multiple duplex apartments. Bonnett Shores Apartments was approximately two thirds occupied at the time of the homicide. The apartment did not have an air conditioner, therefore, Slaten kept her bedroom window open. When she was discovered deceased, it was also discovered that the screen was missing from her window.
Slaten was last seen alive by her oldest son at approximately 12:15 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Prior to that, Slaten had visited her next door neighbor who was having a social gathering. Slaten had gone over to the neighbor’s apartment with her youngest son around 8:00 p.m. She went back and forth from her apartment and the neighbor’s apartment from 8:00 p.m. to approximately 11:30 p.m. At this time, she took her youngest son home and put him to bed. Her oldest son asked her to turn the kitchen light off at approximately 12:15 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., so he could go to sleep. This was the last time that Slaten was seen alive.
On August 26, 2013, at approximately 1:07 a.m., Cameron Banks came home and found 22 year old Erin Taylor, on the floor of the living room unresponsive. Taylor died as the result of a gunshot wound. Taylor resided with her boyfriend, Cameron Banks, at 1030 W Walnut Street, Apt 207. Banks sold drugs from the apartment.
On Saturday, November 11, 1989, at approximately 4:16 a.m., officers from the Lakeland Police Department were flagged down by a citizen who advised them of a deceased subject in the 200 block of W. 3rd Street. Officers responded to the area and located the victim lying in the roadway. The victim was later identified as Clarence Thomas, also known as: “Chicken Man”. Thomas was 21 years old at the time of his death and died as a result of a single stab wound to the left chest area.
Thomas worked at Church’s Chicken on W. Memorial Boulevard and sometimes wore a chicken outfit for work. This is how he became known as “Chicken Man”. Detectives developed information during the investigation, which revealed that Thomas had a crack cocaine addiction and that he also smoked marijuana. Witnesses stated that Thomas had recently been paid and had money on him prior to his death. It is unknown if the motive for the killing of Thomas was robbery, or if it was for some other reason.
On November 23, 1991, 28 year old Jennifer Thompson suffered a gunshot wound to the right side of her chest as she sat in the front passenger seat of a vehicle. Her boyfriend was the driver at the time of the shooting. The two subjects were allegedly involved in a curb-side drug transaction and attempted to depart without paying for the illegal drugs. One of the three black male suspects shot into the vehicle striking Jennifer.
On January 2, 2012, at approximately 6:56 p.m., 37 year old Victor Thompson was shot and killed by unknown person(s) as he played dominos underneath the carport at 1411 Powhattan Court.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Lakeland Police responded to Yamis Hair Braiding, located at 1543 West Memorial Boulevard in reference to an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, officers discovered the victim, 51 year old, John James Walters, lying in a parking bay at the rear of the business. The victim had been pronounced deceased by Polk County EMS personnel. The business is located at the northeast corner at the intersection of West Memorial Boulevard and North Brunnell Parkway. John Walters was found lying outside the open driver side door of a grey dodge minivan. It was determined that sometime overnight, Walters was shot at Yamis Hair Braiding as he arrived at the business, where he had been living temporarily. Walters was a makeshift taxi driver who would drive members of the neighborhood places to earn money. This evening, he sustained a fatal gunshot wound. It appears he was the victim of an attempted armed robbery.
On March 25, 1980, at approximately 9:16 a.m., skeletal remains were located in the 900 block of W. Emma Street. The skeleton was later identified as 21 year old, Letha Mae Williams.
On Saturday, August 16, 2003, at approximately 1:18 a.m., Rodney Williams and his girlfriend, Mary Knight, were walking home after playing pool at Wally’s, located at 1136 E. Main Street. As they were walking through the parking lot of Bumper to Bumper Auto, a black male came around the building and confronted the two. The suspect demanded their wallets. Ms. Knight was holding her cigarette case at the time and as she tried to hand it to the suspect, he fired two shots. One of the shots struck Rodney Williams. The suspect ran back around the corner of the business and Rodney collapsed in the roadway. Ms. Knight stated she never saw the firearm in the suspect’s hand. Ms. Knight observed what she believed to be a white Chevrolet four door vehicle come from around the back of the business and head west on Oleander Street. Rodney Williams died at the scene.
Ms. Knight described the suspect as a black male, 6’ – 6’1”, 180 – 190 lbs. The suspect was wearing a hat along with a dark colored shirt and pants.
At the time of the homicide, Rodney Williams and Mary Knight were living in a mobile home located in the Hilltop Mobile Home Park off Oleander Circle. Based on the description of the suspect, and the suspect vehicle, a composite drawing of the suspect was done, along with a flyer of a similar vehicle.