By Troy MacNeill and Alex Strom| email@example.com
A man accused in the April 5 murder of the mother of his child and a teen-ager in West St. Augustine is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Johnny Lawrence Williams Jr., 36, was arrested without incident on April 15 at a convenience store on Norwood Avenue in Jacksonville after 10 days on the run.
St. Johns County sheriff’s deputies allege that he shot and killed Jamie Antoinette Wilson, 24, in front of their 2-month-old baby in St. Augustine. Deputies say Williams got into a vehicle, drove to another part of town and shot Keiwuan Murray, 18.
Deputies haven’t yet fully explained the shooter’s motives, but say he had unrelated disputes with both victims.
Wilson’s sister, AlesiaCarswell Wilson, wrote on Facebook:
“Pray for us instead of spreading rumors or guessing how he did it or why he did it! Leave it to God.”
Wilson’s relatives started a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral and other expenses. As of today, they had raised $3,300.
“Thank you..everyone.. I’m the mother..of the young lady murdered..,” Zemetra Carswell wrote. “Our daughter Jamie Wilson.. Was a beautiful soul..it breaks our heart..her little baby..will grow up with out her..thank you all for your donations.. God bless.. From our family to yours.”
Wilson’s obituary said she had attended Atlantic International Institute and was a graduate of Heritage Institute in Jacksonville. She had worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, Allegro, Winn-Dixie, Clyde Lassen VA Nursing Home and the Ponce Therapy Care Center.
Murray was a dishwasher at the Irish Pub in St. Augustine. His obituary read, “He enjoyed the presence of his family and spending time with his friends. Keiwuan will always be remembered by his favorite saying ‘What’s Cooking?'”
In a tribute to Murray, Traeasjah Lyons wrote:
“Keiwaun I’m Still Trying To Get My Mind To Believe That Your Gone But You Will Be Truly Missed … I’ve Lost A Great Friend But Your In A Better Place Now And God Has Gained An Angel.”
Double homicides are rare in St. Johns County.
“It was complete chaos,” said Mark Samson, public information officer at the St. Augustine Police Department. “It’s not something we see everyday in St. Augustine.”
Since the shootings occurred in St. Augustine, police officers were called on first. But because they lack specialized resources, they quickly reached out to sheriff’s deputies.
“We know our place. We know what we can do and we know what they can do at the sheriff’s office,” said Samson. “We were able to work very closely with the Sheriff’s Office. They have more tools over there at their disposal.”
One of those tools is a GPS system most often used for traffic homicide investigations. They used it to track Williams, who had fled in a maroon Ford Contour, which deputies discovered to be stolen.
The car was abandoned on Kenmore Street, near Norwood Avenue in northwest Jacksonville.
The episode began, deputies allege, when when Williams got out of a car in front of a home on Rollins Avenue in St. Augustine and shot Wilson. Williams then got back into the car and backed into a baby stroller holding their 2-month-old son before driving down the block to Duval Street, where his mother lives, according to St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar, who spoke a news conference.
Shoar said Williams went outside after talking to his mother and shot at a group of people where Murray stood. Murray was killed and a friend of his was shot in the hand.
“The two shootings happened back to back,” said Samson. “While we were responding to the first call, the second incident was taking place, about six minutes apart.”
Police and sheriff’s deputies worked together to solve the case.
“This is a small town and when something like this happens, people come together,” said Samson. “A lot of these people and these families grew up together. They lived together their whole lives.”
“We work together with the police department every day,” Sheriff’s Commander Chuck Mulligan said. “It’s nothing new. We are always sharing information. It’s a multiplier rather than something that slows us down.”
Mulligan said the families of both victims also came together and called for an end to the violence.
“We had law enforcement officers there at the funerals for Wilson and Murray,” said Mulligan. “The families were just relieved that there was justice for Wilson and Murray’s death and they thanked us for how we went about handling the case.”
“We worked well together as a community,” said Samson. “With an incident like this, you have to take into account how serious it is on the family. You have to ask people to separate while interviewing so that we can get a good and clear interview. The family stays hyped up. They’re angry and want justice.”
Mulligan added that getting information about what happened can be difficult, especially because everyone involved is so upset.
“You are dealing with human beings who have real and raw emotions. Both families just lost someone,” said Mulligan. “As an investigator, you have to give them enough time. But we don’t have much time.”
The investigators have to get as much information as possible, as quickly as possible in order to start the search for justice. Mulligan explained that there were counselors on the scene to help the families. However, it was important the investigators did not rush the family or pressure them in any way.
“The families are tired and emotions are running high,” said Mulligan. “There is no rule book when it comes to emotions. There are no hard core rules on how to deal with human emotions.”