On January 19, 2014, at approximately 1:51 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the Elks Lodge, 1026 N. Texas Avenue in reference to a shooting. Victim #1, Willie Williams,33, and his cousin got into a physical altercation inside the lodge after the cousin accidentally stepped on the suspects foot. The altercation moved outside the lodge at which point the suspect walked off briefly and returned within minutes shooting Williams a total of 5 times. Williams is listed in critical condition at LRMC.
Victim #2, Gregory Burgess, 23, was an innocent bystander outside the lodge and was shot once in the lower leg, possible by a bullet that exited Williams. Burgess drove himself to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Victim #3, Darielle Kirkland, 23, was hit once in the face with the handgun knocking him to the ground. The handgun fired another round when Kirkland was struck. An unknown patron at this point kicked Kirkland in the head and knocked him unconscious.
The suspect has been identified as:
Sylvester Nathaniel Smith, Jr.
350 24th Street NW
Winter Haven, Fla 33880
•Known to frequent the North Iowa area in Lakeland
An arrest affidavit has been obtained for Smith charging him with Aggravated Battery with a Firearm (3 cts) and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
Smith should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 or they can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.