The suspect in a motel shooting that left two Ocala residents dead is being held in Marion County Jail without bond as of noon Friday, according to Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Judge Cochran.
Cochran said the suspect, Kelvin Lee Coleman, 37, is refusing to speak to authorities.
Glendora Johnson, 54, and Lester Carter, 42, were killed Tuesday evening on the second-floor balcony of the Vacation Host Inn located at 3330 S. Pine Ave. Johnson and Carter worked and lived at the motel.
Coleman fled the scene and was later arrested in Silver Spring Shores, according to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office press release. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
There was a disturbance earlier that day, and Coleman had threatened a receptionist at the motel, said Vickie Matienzo, assistant manager for the motel.
Employees called the police and wanted to remove Coleman, who had been staying in the motel since around mid-January with his wife. The officer on scene said the motel needed to serve an eviction notice, and there was nothing else the police could do other than warn Coleman not to return, Matienzo said.
Matienzo and the victims’ families believe the killings may have been prevented if the police did more, she said.
“We’re mad,” Matienzo said. “The families are mad and blame the sheriff’s department.”
Johnson was a housekeeper for the motel and had worked there since 2004. Carter was a part-time maintenance worker who had worked at the motel for almost a year. The two were neighbors and friends, Matienzo said.
“Everyone’s in shock,” she said.
Carter’s funeral will be held Saturday. Vacation Host Inn is working to arrange a funeral for Johnson who has no relatives in the immediate area.
“I’m calling funeral homes right now to find the best way to bury Glendora,” Matienzo said. “She was part of our family.”
Andrew V. Pestano contributed to this story.