OCALA, FL – On Wednesday April 27, around 11:20 p.m. Ocala Police Officers were in the area of the 2200 block of N. Pine Avenue conducting a traffic stop when numerous shots were heard being fired nearby.
Officers quickly headed towards the gunshots and saw a white Mercedes four-door sedan driving north from NW 4th Avenue and east onto NW 20th Street, at a high rate of speed, failing to stop at the stop sign at that intersection.
Officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, which was occupied by four teens. Once the vehicle was stopped, now in the 300 block of NW 20th Street, officers approached the car and found the young men extremely nervous and sweaty. In the driver’s seat was Jarrett Vining Jr., 19; all other teens in the vehicle are juveniles.
Officers also noticed an empty pistol holster on the front passenger seat floorboard and noticed the butt of a rifle between the legs of the driver.
Due to the presence of firearms and the shooting heard by officers, all subjects were removed from the vehicle and secured for safety and the firearms were secured. In all, firearms found consisted of an American Tactical AR-style, 5.56 rifle, a Glock 33 .357 caliber pistol was found on the front seat passenger floorboard in a pizza box, next to the empty holster. A Taurus 9mm pistol was found on the rear passenger floorboard, just under the driver’s seat and a Glock 42 .380 caliber pistol with a laser sight.
A spent casing was also observed on the rear passenger seat floorboard nearby where the 9mm and .380 pistols were located. No one in the vehicle possessed a valid concealed weapons permit. At the shooting location, detectives found numerous spent shell casings in the roadway that were consistent calibers for the guns located within the vehicles. Two witnesses notified Ocala Police and were able to identify the vehicle and subjects involved.
“Though I’m extremely proud of the vigilance our police officers had during this shooting incident, I’m also very alarmed that just a few weeks ago, two of these teenagers were involved in a manslaughter case in Belleview that ended another teen’s life.” Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken said. “Here they are again with more felony gun charges. This is yet another disturbing example of legislative failures within our juvenile justice system.”
The young men are now facing felony charges including Shooting into an unoccupied dwelling, possession of a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.