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On Saturday, March 8, 2014, at approximately 8:23 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 833 N. Florence Avenue in reference to a homicide. Inside the dwelling officers discovered Gregory Allen Ross Jr. (B/M 06/17/94) deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. At the time of the homicide, the dwelling was being utilized as an illegal drug distribution point commonly known as a drug trap house. Evidence found inside the dwelling included firearms and illegal drugs. Crime scene personnel recovered spent bullet casings and projectiles inside the dwelling.

On Monday, March 10, 2014, an autopsy was conducted at the Medical Examiner’s Office by Dr. Nelson. The results of the procedure identified five gunshot wounds to the decedent, to include shots to the head and upper torso area.

According to two witnesses that were in the dwelling prior to the homicide, only four people were inside which consisted of: Jimmy Brown, the decedent and two witnesses. Both witnesses had left the dwelling when they heard five separate gunshots. One of the witnesses returned to the dwelling and observed Jimmy Brown running out the front door. The witness followed Jimmy Brown for several blocks before catching up with him. The witness stated that Jimmy Brown told him he had robbed the decedent of an amount of drugs, to include powder cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana, which he showed the witness. Jimmy Brown told the witness he accidentally shot the decedent during a struggle.

Detectives obtained the arrest warrant on March 11th and attempted to locate Brown at various locations throughout the evening. Jimmy Brown later turned himself in at the Lakeland Police Department yesterday evening without incident and was later transported to the Polk County Jail.

Brown was charged with  Murder in the 1st Degree with a Firearm, Armed Robbery with a Firearm and Witness Tampering.


Update on Homicide Case - Gregory Allen Ross, 19 yrs old.

The location the victim was shot at, 833 N. Florence Avenue is what is commonly called a “Trap House” (Term used to define a crack house, or the surroundings in which a drug dealer would use to make their profit).
Items of evidentiary value were located in the house which would indicate drug activity. No other details will be discussed on items located inside the house.

On 2/28/14 at 11:23 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in reference to Ross being shot in the right thigh. Ross stated that while walking west on 13th Street near Kettles Avenue, he heard what sounded like “firecrackers” and then realized he had been shot. Ross walked to LRMC at this time. Ross stated he saw no vehicle or person that could have caused this injury. Officers discovered dark marks near his wound that were consistent with stippling (Shots fired from close range leaving marks are discolorations of the skin caused by burning gunpowder) indicating the injury was self-inflicted or by an “unknown” person up close.  Ross gave several conflicting statements to responding officers at LRMC. 

Detectives are still working the case, attending the autopsy today and following up on leads. Anyone with additional information on this case should call Det. Hurley at 863-834-8973.

 

On March 8, 2014 a relative arrived at 833 N. Florence Avenue to check on Gregory Allen Ross Jr., 19 years old.  At this time, Ross was found inside the residence deceased from a gunshot wound. The relative then called 9-1-1 at  8:23 pm. The Lakeland Police Department responded to the scene at 8:25 p.m. and located Ross who was later pronounced deceased by EMS at 8:37 pm.

The Violent Crimes Unit and Crime Scene personal responded to scene and canvassed the area for any additional evidence or witnesses. No witnesses or suspects have been located at this time and detectives are continuing with their investigation. Ross was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy which is scheduled for Monday, March 10th. At this time, no additional information is being released.


On February 22, 2014, at approximately 3:17 a.m. Tiffany Powell Humphries reported her son, Damarco Powell missing to the Lakeland Police Department. On the same date, at approximately 5:07 a.m. Officer Ryan Back located Damarco Powell’s deceased body in the wooded section of the 1300 block of Atline Road. The decedent suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head and was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS personnel. 

On February 24th, the Defendant’s Taqiy Lewis and Tyler Knight were arrested in the late evening hours and charged with their involvement in the murder of Damarco Powell:

1) Tyler M. Knight, B/M, 16 yrs old, 324 W. 10th Street, Lakeland, Fla. 
Charge – First Degree Murder w/Firearm

2) Taqiy Malik Lewis, B/M, 16 yrs old, 2211 Dillie Street, Lakeland, Fla.
Charge – False Reports to Law Enforcement Concerning a Capital Felony

According to witnesses, the decedent and Tyler Knight were part of a gang known as Armed And Dangerous (AAD). The investigation revealed that Knight and another witness allegedly received threats from the decedent that he was going to set them up. Witnesses stated that as they walked through the wooded area off Atline Road with the decedent, Knight pulled a handgun and shot the decedent in the back of the head. During the investigation, Taqiy Lewis provided false information to detectives which resulted in him being charged with false report to a law enforcement concerning a capital felony.